Mind determines quantity of food to consume: Study

May 27th, 2011 - 1:07 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) In a finding that can help the fight against obesity, researchers say the state of the mind of a person governs the level of physical satisfaction after a meal and influences the habit to consume additional food after a meal.

“This study shows that the mindset can affect feelings of physical satiety. The brain was tricked into either feeling full or feeling unsatisfied,” said lead author Alia J. Crum, of the department of psychology at Yale University, in a statement Thursday.

“That feeling depended on what people believed they were consuming, rather than what they actually were consuming,” added Crum.

Titled ‘Mind over matter: you are what you think you eat’, the study is expected to have implications on the fight against obesity.

The research team focused on levels of ghrelin (a hormone that controls appetite).

“Ghrelin levels typically increase before meals and decrease after meals. The higher the levels of ghrelin in the system, the more likely a person is to overeat,” said the study.

The research subjects were given a 380 calorie milkshake under the pretense that it was either a 620 calorie “indulgent” shake or a 140 calorie “sensible” shake.

“Those who drank what they thought was the “indulgent” high-fat, high-calorie shake had a dramatically steeper decline in ghrelin after drinking it, while those who thought they were drinking the “sensible” low-fat, low-calorie shake had a flat ghrelin response. The ghrelin response to perceived calorie counts was consistent with what would be observed had the counts actually been that high or low,” the study added.

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