Educating ourselves to prefer healthy food

We may think educating ourselves to prefer healthy food could be impossible. We read a research published in “Nutrition and Diabetes” that gives us some hope.

Obesity is associated with hyperactivation of the reward system in the brain with respect to high-calorie foods versus low in calories food, which encourages the election of unhealthy food and overeating. However, if we work to become false the relation between hyper caloric food and reward through a behavioral intervention, the brain’s response can be reversed.

In the research was tested the result of the behavioral training therapy with images associated with food to measure changes in the brain’s signals activation when these images are displayed 6 months after the therapy with 13 overweight adults.

Participants who had finished a behavioral intervention achieved a significant weight loss, -6’3 kg on average, in comparison with 2’1 kg of the control group, and there was better activation with low calorie food images after 6 months of treatment.

This study provides the first demonstration of a favorable change in the activation of the reward system with healthy eating against unhealthy food.

Knowing the effectiveness of this method we should make the following consideration: when we decide that we prefer the fries to the greens? When we are born we are educated regarding the food we are conditioned to what should be more appealing to us and this is not an entirely free choice. The environment in which we grow and our consumption habits define our “preferences” in one direction, now we must be aware that we can educate ourselves towards the right one. Now we know it’s possible.

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