Study Finds Dopamine, Biological Clock Link to Snacking, Overeating, and Obesity

The pleasure center of the brain and the brain’s biological clock are linked, and high-calorie foods — which bring pleasure — disrupt normal feeding schedules, resulting in overconsumption, according to a study recently published in Current Biology.

Researchers led by Ali Güler, PhD, a professor of biology at the University of Virginia demonstrate that the part of the brain that produces the chemical dopamine, and the brain’s separate biological clock that regulates daily physiological rhythms, are linked. The researchers mimicked the 24/7 availability of a high-fat diet in mice and showed that anytime snacking eventually results in obesity and related health problems.

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