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‘Brain training’ could help you stop snacking

Researchers found that brain reward centre response has more effect on the amount they ate.

Written by Agencies | London | Published: July 28, 2012 1:55:51 pm

Mind your food! ‘Brain training’ may help you fight the urge to snack,scientists say.

Researchers believe that ‘brain training’ exercises by

handheld computer games could dramatically improve your

health,adding that snack consumption and weight are linked to both brain activity and self-control.

The team from the universities of Exeter,Cardiff,Bristol and Bangor discovered that an individual’s brain “reward centre” response has more of an effect on the amount they ate than their feelings of hunger,the ‘Daily Mail’ reported.

According to experts,the study “adds to mounting evidence that over-eating and increased weight are linked,in part,to a region of the brain associated with motivation and reward.”

Academics at Exeter and Cardiff have already begun

testing ‘brain training’ techniques to reduce the lure of food

on individuals with low levels of self-control.

Similar tests are used to assist those with gambling or alcohol addiction.

“Our study has important implications for our understanding of how people become obese and how they might also lose weight,issues that are really important to health.”

Dr John Parkinson,senior lecturer at Bangor University said.

“Nobody chooses to become obese and what this research

suggests is that our conscious minds are not actually driving

over-eating,” said Parkinson.

“Instead,enticing high-fat and high-sugar food images

are getting direct access to our brain motivation systems and triggering over-eating behaviour.”

Lead researcher,Dr Natalia Lawrence of the university of

Exeter,said: “Our research suggests why some individuals are more likely to over-eat and put on weight than others when confronted with frequent images of snacks and treats.”

“We are now developing computer programs that we hope

will counteract the effects of this high sensitivity to food

cues by training the brain to respond less positively to these

cues,” said Lawrence.

The study involved 25 young,healthy women.

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