Breaking the Junk Food Eating Cycle

Posted on February 2, 2017

Photo: flickr

Eating fast food is something that everyone indulges on once in a while (and for some, maybe even more than that!). Laura Corbit and her team from the University of Sydney wondered exactly how much our environment can impact our unhealthy eating habits and whether there is a way out of the junk food eating cycle.

Corbit and her research team conducted their eating experiment with rats where they discovered that animals who were fed high-fat and high-sugar foods actually developed a change in behavioral habit--the rats lost the ability to voluntarily choose nutritional foods based on the current value of food. In other words, they always opt for the high-calorie, unhealthy choice.

But there is a way the rats broke that habit! Corbit and her team used external cues that managed to get the rats to break the cycle of unhealthy eating and choose for a bland, but healthy chow. All they did was produce distinct sounds, different for the unhealthy and healthy food. The rats associated the disturbing noises with the unhealthy food and soon enough, when hearing the disturbing noise, they chose the bland food instead!

These findings indicate that people can too break their unhealthy eating habits. All they need, Corbit suggests, is the right cues that remind individuals of their unhealthy option and the consequences of eating too much junk!

Source material from Medical News Today

Mental Health News