Are you a late-night fridge-raider and wonder why? Researchers at the Brigham Young University (US) believe it’s because some of us don’t get the same response from our brain when we see desirable foods at different times of the day. The researchers used MRI scanning to image the brain as study subjects were shown images of foods of different caloric values, and found that certain foods create spikes in brain activity – particularly images of high calorie foods. These spikes, however, are lower in the evening, and so you may over-consume at night because food is visually less rewarding later in the day, and so we compensate by eating more of it to get that reward.
Moreover, we may be more preoccupied with food at night than other times of the day, even if we have no feelings of hunger. In terms of obesity management, researchers now want to understand these changes in brain activity during different times of the day and why we seem more obsessed by food later in the day.
Seb is a writer and blogger of food and nutrition. He holds a bachelors and a masters degree in nutrition science, and has studied sports and exercise nutrition at postgraduate level. He specialises in plant-based nutrition and believes passionately that we can all live with a little less meat.