Fatty foods may cause brain damage, UW study says




Posted on December 31, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 4 at 10:44 AM

SEATTLE - At All Star Fitness in West Seattle, we heard a New Year's resolution or two.

"I'd like to lose ten pounds that's the hardest part,” said Lori Arnold.

We also heard a few theories on what to stay away from to lose those pounds.

“I believe wheat has been so genetically modified, it's just not very good for you, not good for most people,” said David Webber.

But the latest news on nutrition comes from a study out of the University of Washington Medicine research facility. What you eat impacts more than your waist line.

“If you eat a lot of fatty foods there's a rapid damage response that occurs in the brain,” said Joshua Thaler, Study Lead Investigator

Specifically, eating fatty foods kills the neurons that tell you when you're full, and Thaler says since they no longer give the signal to stop eating, body weight tends to drift up and you tend to gain weight.

To be fair, researchers say the majority of this study centered around rodents, so they're not sure how applicable this is to humans.

"There is a new idea here about how obesity will occur and why people find it so difficult to lose weight and maintain it,” said Thaler.

The next step in the research will look at whether the brain damage is reversible.