Researchers say those who have a history of an eating disorder, obsessive-compulsive traits, dieting, poor body image, and a drive for thinness are more likely to develop a pathological obsession with healthy eating or consuming only healthy food, known as orthorexia nervosa (ON). Although eating healthy is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, for some people this preoccupation with healthy eating can become physically and socially impairing.
In the largest study of its kind, involving more than 50,000 subjects in 14 countries, researchers at more than 200 collaborating institutions have identified 20 new genetic associations with one of the most prevalent and elusive mental illnesses of our time -- bipolar disorder.
A new study has found that a persistent low body mass index (BMI) in children, starting as young as age 2 for boys and 4 for girls, may be a risk factor for the development of anorexia nervosa in adolescence.
Researchers have identified new brain circuits that may act as a brake on binge eating and junk food craving. In rats who had spent a month eating a low-fat diet, researchers successfully inhibited the fatty food seeking behaviors.
Researchers have identified cells in the brains of male rats that appear to control future food intake by preserving memories of past meals. The study lends support to the idea of boosting meal memories as a strategy for managing overeating.
The study used rats to examine the impact on emotional behavior of a sudden drop in blood sugar. When the rats were given a glucose blocker, researchers found they had higher levels of cortisol. They also showed signs of stress and sluggish behavior similar to a poor mood. To prove the behavior wasn't just a lack of glucose to the muscles, researchers then gave them a common antidepressant and the behavior disappeared.
Scientists have discovered that a small group of brain cells in the hypothalamus called 'orexin' neurons could be a promising target for medications for controlling binge eating episodes in individuals with obesity. These neurons, named for the chemical messenger they use to communicate with other brain cells, have previously been shown to be important for addiction to several drugs, including cocaine.