Findings from a report released by the University of Calgary have found that diet-induced obesity is linked to functional changes in the brain.
As published in Nature Neuroscience, the findings assert that overeating behaviors associated with conditions like obesity may not be the result of personal responsibility. Rather, it may have to do more with functional changes in the brain and how it works in response to our food environment.
The study was conducted using rodents as part of three devaluation methods examined.
“Here, we reveal a new role for the lateral orbitofrontal cortex (lOFC) in the cognitive control of behavior in obesity. Food-seeking behavior is biased in obesity such that in male obese mice, behaviors are less flexible to changes in the perceived value of the outcome,” according to the journal report.
“Our results indicate that obesity-induced disinhibition of the lOFC leads to a failure to update changes in the value of food with satiety, which in turn may influence how individuals make decisions in an obesogenic environment.”