The Brain and Obesity

Determining Brain Mechanisms Related to Food Intake and Obesity

In health, the brain and the digestive system closely interact in regulating food intake, establishing a balance optimal for health. However, in obesity and in eating disorders, this complicated balance is altered, resulting in either too much or too little nutrient ingestion. Chronic stress often plays a role in this impairment.

Center scientists are studying the mechanisms whereby the brain no longer listens to the gut, but generates its own purely reward-driven priorities (“food addiction”), leading to obesity and obesity-related complications, and how obesity in turn alters the brain.