By Dean L. Jones, CPM
Obesity causes many changes to the health of a person’s body, but few people know how the brain also suffers negative changes. Habitual overeating is caused by some harmful health changes in the mind. In short, the hippocampus is a major component of our brain that consolidates information from short-term memory to long-term memory. Consuming foods high in processed sugar and fats can impair the function of the brain’s hippocampus so much that a person’s eating habits become out-of-control.
Perhaps you can recall talking with people who suffer from binge eating, usually stuffing down food loaded with processed sugar and/or flour, which can form an unhealthy condition of weight calamity. I can remember some outlandish times when it was quite easy for me to eat an entire package of fig bar cookies, or nearly a whole box of saltine crackers. There is no doubt that my brain was impaired since now living in sobriety from processed sugar, I am of clear thought, finding it absurd to eating a large package of anything, less alone something overloaded with processed sugar.
Overeating in America is too common, particularly around the holidays, celebrations, or special sporting events. The question is when does the occasional overindulgence cross over into binge eating? If you find yourself filling your regular daily routine with overeating sessions, and/or if you are constantly thinking about good versus bad food it is probably time to slow down those processed sugar and fat monsters. Those monsters and demons that encourage you to eat the whole carton of ice cream, or box of cookies and that entire pie should give rise that something has gone wrong in the brain.
A lot of weight is always associated with people who have stopped drinking alcohol for whatever the reason and now they have put on noticeably a lot of weight. Essentially trading alcohol addiction (which is sugar) for a candy bar addiction (added sugar); the person has started out on an equally dangerous road toward heart disease, diabetes, and the ailments linked to obesity. Biochemically processed sugar and alcohol is the same thing. The reason being is that when you take in large amounts of processed sugar it sends your blood sugar high and releases a feel good neurotransmitter called serotonin, the only difference is that alcohol spikes the blood sugar twice as fast.
Compulsive eating is related to deficiencies in these neurotransmitters, so lacking serotonin, dopamine, or other essential chemical communicators in the brain will bring about cravings for carbohydrates, especially sugar and bread products. Look at the common binge eating of potato chips, because of the high sugar (simple carbohydrate of potatoes, oil, and salt). Some chip products include processed sugar, but just know that these addictive packaged items earn over $15 billion a year from some out-of-control eaters.
Mr. Jones is a marketing strategist with Southland Partnership Corporation (a public benefit organization), sharing his view on mismanagement practices of packaged foods & beverages.