Why Desserts Are Irresistible

Posted on June 9, 2014

It all comes down to willpower, right? Strength of purpose. Muster the resolve to skip dessert, and you have a shot at losing that spare tire hanging off your belly. Succumb to your temptations, however, and you are simply being weak. But is it just weakness that causes us to overeat?

A study in Psychological Science suggests that our inability to resist that mouthwatering looking chocolate cake doesn’t arise simply because our willpower is weak but also because, after exhausting our willpower, the cake looks even more mouthwatering to us than it did before. Our ability to overcome temptation is reduced at the same time that the power of the temptation increases.

The researchers placed the participants in an fMRI machine (a brain imager) and flashed pictures of deliciously unhealthy foods. They wanted to see which parts of people's brains lit up in front of these tempting delicacies. I should tell you that the participants in this study were all trying to lose weight, and had all fasted before the study (which, by the way, probably means their willpower was already beginning to be depleted before they began the research).

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Source material from Forbes

Mental Health News