Washington: Looking at pictures of appetizing food can make you hungry, according to a new study.Max Planck researchers’ have documented a study on healthy young men that proves that the amount of the neurosecretory protein hormone ghrelin in the blood increases as a result of visual stimulation through images of food.As a main regulator, ghrelin controls both eating behaviour and the physical processes involved in food metabolism.These results show that, in addition to the physiological mechanisms for maintaining the body’s energy status, environmental factors also have a specific influence on food consumption.Thus, the pervasive presence of appetising food in the media could contribute to weight increase in Western populations.It has long been known that, in addition to the physiological regulatory circuits for the maintenance of a sufficient energy status for the body, external stimuli like smell or the sight of food also influence our feelings of hunger and our resulting eating behaviour.The danger that the exposure to such images will result in the consumption of food that is not needed to maintain the body’s energy status is particularly high in our advertising-dominated society.
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