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ICYMI: Science Explains Why You Can't Keep That New Year's Resolution

Ice Cream Sundae

February 05, 2016

Here we are in the final days of January. How are your New Year’s resolutions holding up? Have you maintained the willpower to eat healthy and lose weight, or did you lose all control at the first thought of a brownie sundae? If the latter rings true for you, here’s some good news: it may not be not your fault. And, even better, there may be a practical solution.

Experts believe that, for some people, delicious foods can provoke such a strong neurological response that sheer willpower may not be sufficient to resist eating those foods once they’re available, according to this month’s issue of Scientific American.

“For most of our history, the challenge for human beings was getting enough to eat to avoid starvation,” Drexel University eating and weight expert Michael Lowe, PhD, told the magazine, “but for many of us, the modern world has replaced that with a very different challenge: avoiding eating more than we need so we don’t gain weight.”

The term for these cravings for pleasurable foods in the absence of physiological hunger — “hedonic hunger” — was coined by Lowe in 2007. This strong psychological impulse is considered to be one of the primary factors in the soaring levels of obesity in the U.S.

Keep reading at the Drexel News Blog