Mind Control

I’ve got burgers on the brain – literally!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Do I want fries with that double-double? Of course!! Sure, it messes with my waistline. But is it also messing with my BRAIN?

Meet Garret Stuber from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. His team focused on an area of the brain called the lateral hypothalamus, or L-H-A. This region is responsible for “slamming on the brakes” when we eat too much.

The researchers studied mice to see if repeated overeating changes the activity in the L-H-A. They fed the mice a special high-fat diet, periodically peeking inside their brains through special windows installed in mice’s skulls.


After two weeks of overeating, neuron activity in the L-H-A slowed down! The brain cells became even more sluggish as the animals gained weight. Stuber believes that a persistently high-fat diet “releases the brakes” that normally regulate appetite. We don’t know when to stop!

The team hopes that understanding this brain function could help reduce obesity in humans.

Brainwashed by a burger? No thanks! But wait….are those DONUTS…?