Food Cravings Damage Health

Friday 21st May 2010

Researchers in Australia claim that food cravings could damage more than the waistline. Scientists at Flinders' University, Melbourne, claim that obsessing over a sweet treat could cause memory lapses and breaks in concentration that could increase the risk of accidents occurring.

The research, published in the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science, suggests that processing food cravings drains the brain's cognitive resources causing lapses in memory and attention spans. The researchers studied how the brain activity of volunteers changed when they experienced strong food cravings.

Researchers found that participants didn't just develop a craving for a treat but developed a complex visual image of a specific brand that they enjoyed. Researchers explain that creating this detailed food image impedes the brain from carrying out other tasks and could result in people being involved in accidents or performing worse at work.

However, researchers suggest that dieters could halt their unhealthy cravings by visualising other images. Research findings indicated that picturing a rainbow could effectively reduce cravings. Researchers now hope to study whether using visual and imaginative exercises could be used to help slimmer's beat the urge to indulge in high calorie treats.

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