Why is it so hard to resist drunk eating with a sneaky slice of pizza or cheap box of chips after a few – or a lot of – drinks? New research has confirmed it really IS the alcohol sabotaging your will power
Do you hop in a cab or walk the long way home after a night out just to avoid the takeaway shop? You may be too familiar with grabbing a carb-heavy greasy meal after a few beverages – the all-night pizza or kebab shop literally calling your name…
According to new research conducted at Indiana University School of Medicine, women’s brains do respond to the smell of food when you’ve been on the liquids. The findings, published in the research journal Obesity, aimed to explain ‘The Aperitif Effect’: when alcohol increases food consumption.
women’s brains do respond to the smell of food when you’ve been on the liquids.
35 non-smoking women at a healthy weight and of an average age of 25, were given alcohol into their veins during one session, and a placebo, saline (salty water), in another. They were then offered a lunch of either pasta with ground beef and Italian tomato sauce or noodles with shredded beef and gravy served in a deep, black, slanted bowl to minimize the appearance of excess food. They were told to eat for 30 minutes until they were full.
The volunteers had their brain responses to different smells measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans. The scans showed an area of the brain responsible for certain metabolic processes – the hypothalamus – responded more to food odors than non-food odors after the alcohol infusion, leading to a desire to eat. Food consumed at lunch after alcohol was significantly greater compared to after receiving the placebo.
However there were some individual differences, with 34 per cent of the participants eating less when given alcohol than the placebo- damn those women!
Like this article? Sign up to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.