This is how your brain could be causing you to overeat

This is how your brain could be causing you to overeat

You are what you think you eat?

London researchers say this may be the case.

In a 2017 study, participants were given omelets and were told they were made with either two or four eggs. In reality, every omelet contained three eggs.

Those individuals who were under the assumption they ate a two-egg omelet reported being hungrier after two hours than individuals who believed they consumed a four-egg omelet. The two-egg omelet eaters also proceeded to take in more calories throughout the day, and the four-egg omelet eaters ate less during the day because they believed they consumed a large breakfast.

Dr. Amar Chadaga, associate program director of internal medicine at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill., is intrigued by the research.

“This is an impressively slick and unique study. It continues the evolution of the literature in this arena and shows promising applications. If these results can be replicated on a larger scale, it brings up paradoxical and ethical questions of what to do with the data,” he says.

Dr. Chadaga goes on to say, “I wonder if restaurants putting up calorie counts on every food item is having an effect of causing overeating at the next meal if a consumer chooses a less caloric meal at, say, lunch.”

“Likewise, if the results are replicated on a larger scale, would calorie count numbers at restaurants and on food products be unethically modified in an effort to influence future eating (up or down)?”

He points to an important takeaway from the research:

“Regardless, if the results are replicated on a larger scale, or even if not, nutritionists, dietitians and physicians should discuss with their patients the possibility of psychology having large effects on future eating.”

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About the Author

Holly Brenza
Holly Brenza

Holly Brenza, health enews contributor, is a public affairs coordinator at Advocate Health Care in Downers Grove. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago. In her free time, Holly enjoys reading, watching the White Sox and Blackhawks and playing with her dog, Bear and cats, Demi and Elle.