Did you make a new year’s resolution to eat more healthy? Lose weight? Exercise more? Well, just in time to crush your dreams and then perhaps revive your resolve comes two studies addressing the fat on our bodies and the high-fat foods we ingest.
Before the end of 2011, Tara Parker-Pope published an article in the New York Times Magazine which basically boiled down to those pesky genes and why we can lose the weight, but can’t keep it off. And, should you achieve your resolution and lose the weight, hormones may force you to work harder than your friends on the formula calories-out:calories-in to maintain that loss. Depending on the metabolic and hormonal shifts in your body, you may have to intake fewer calories to maintain the same weight as another person your weight may need. For instance, Parker-Pope offers the example of two 30-year-old women both weighing 190 pounds. One woman must consume 2,300 daily calories to maintain her weight, while the other can consume up to 2,600 daily calories. That 300 calories can be an entire meal!
That’s depressing news to end the year, right before we have all set our goal to lose the weight and eat right. But hang on, a study in the January 4, 2012 issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation claims a high-fat diet in both humans and rodents shows evidence of injury in the brain in only 24 hours! That’s right, your brain — particularly the hypothalamus, which is the area that regulates weight — shows inflammation and damage following a continuous diet of high-fat foods. Though researchers do point out this damage and its connection to obesity is not yet understood.
So, if the threat of not achieving the weight loss goal won’t prevent you from ordering a muffin with your coffee, maybe the fear of damage to the brain will.