Friday, November 13, 2009

Junk Food Junkies

Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute conducted an experiment whereby they fed junk food to rats in order to gain an understanding of the role the brain plays in obesity. They found that the more the rats were fed junk food, the more they ate in comparison to rats fed a healthy diet. The junk food rats were eating twice as much! This is due to the “pleasure center” of the brain. When the rats ate junk food, the pleasure center triggered chemicals to make the rat feel good. Over time, the pleasure center required more stimulation in order to make the rats feel good. That meant eating more junk food. When they tried to place the rats on a healthier diet, they refused to eat. The study has serious implications for humans. Obesity is a dangerous state as it can cause serious health problems.

Classroom Connection
Comprehensive Health Education Standard – Standard 1, 1CH-R8
Identify safe and healthy eating habits
PO 1. Select foods that contribute to good health

Teachers can use this lesson plan on healthy eating habits to teach students the important of choosing a healthy diet.

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