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Poor Food Choices Linked To Sleep Deprivation

August 6, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A U.S. study that used functional magnetic resonance imaging to look at the brain regions that control food choices found unusual activity patterns in the brains of sleep-deprived individuals. Activity in the frontal lobe of sleep-deprived individuals – the area involved in complex decision making – was impaired, while activity in areas deeper in the brain that respond to rewards increased. The researchers said that high-calorie foods become significantly more desirable when participants are sleep-deprived, “which may help explain why people who sleep less also tend to be overweight or obese”.
Stephanie M. Greer et al., "The impact of sleep deprivation on food desire in the human brain", Nature Communications, August 06, 2013, © Nature Publishing Group
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