Study: Yearning for Watery Fruits and Veggies after Workout

If you were to go running there’s a good chance you’ll be yearning for an apple instead of a doughnut afterwards, suggests a recent brain imaging study, and that may be because your brain is pushing you towards water.bigstock-Silhouette-Of-Head-With-Fruits-47793388

Physical activity is one factor that can influence our appetite, possibly by its role in altering our brain signals related to hunger and pleasure. This study focused on bouts of a high-intensity activity: running.

The study was small — 15 lean men — but it may help explain how exercise relates to hunger and overall health. It was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

In the study, the men first ran for an hour and then at a later day, they rested for an hour. For each trial, the men had easy access to water.

Ten minutes after they ran or rested, researchers scanned specific areas of the men’s brain as they looked at two dozen food images. In random order, they saw images of high-calorie foods — such as brownies, ice cream, pizza and fried chicken — and low calorie foods, including grapes, apples, lettuce, and carrots. (They also saw two dozen images of non-food items.) Continue reading


Hungry (and Obese) in America…Then & Now

Last week marked the 42nd anniversary of a landmark meeting: The White House Conference on Food, Health, and Nutrition, convened by President Richard Nixon.

In 1968, the year prior to the Conference, CBS News had aired a documentary titled, “Hunger in America.”  The shocking pictures of hungry, malnourished children served as a powerful catalyst that prompted the President to take measures to address hunger and poverty in the US.

Several initiatives were implemented after the Conference, including reforms to the Food Stamp Program, WIC, and Social Security.  These changes were intended to reduce financial burdens on vulnerable populations within our society—in particular, the poor, the young, and the elderly.

Today, more than 17 million households regularly experience food insecurity, according to the USDA. Food insecurity means limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods.

In a strange paradox, many who experience food insecurity today are also obese.  This may be due to the fact that more convenient and accessible food choices are often high in added sugars and fats.  When people face food insecurity, their nutritional needs are often exceeded by these perceived low-cost substitutions, leading to obesity.  Food insecurity also affects diet quality. A study published last year in Journal of Nutrition found that among 5,000 low income individuals, food insecurity was associated with an increased risk of chronic disease.

You can read more about the study here.

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