Brain Interprets Yo-Yo Dieting as Famine, Causing Weight Gain
A new study, published in the journal Evolution, Medicine and Public, suggests that the brain interprets irregular dieting (so-called yo-yo dieting) as short famines and signals the body to store fat for future food shortages. As a result, it leads to weight gain.
The study was executed by a team of scientists led by Prof. Andrew Higginson, of the University of Exeter, and Prof. John McNamara, of the University of Bristol, (UK). The researchers used a mathematical model of animals (birds) that knows when food is in abundance or in scarce but does not know when it happens.
Prof. Higginson says: “Surprisingly, our model predicts that the average weight gain for dieters will actually be greater than those who never diet. This happens because non-dieters learn that the food supply is reliable so there is less need for the insurance of fat stores.”
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