Thu. Jun 1st, 2023

Expert: desire to reach for another doughnut is biologically determined

The irresistible urge to reach for another doughnut – especially on Fat Thursday – is biologically conditioned. Responsible for this is the mechanism of the reward system in the brain, which rewards for what is adaptively beneficial to the body.

– Our mózg and the body did not come from the world of today, but were shaped in a world of scarcity, deprivation, hunger. Our headóThe major problem was inóat the time the acquisition of food. As soon as man managed to find high-calorie food and provide energy to the body, these efforts were by mózg awarded – neuroscientist Dr. Marek Kaczmarzyk of the University of Silesia told PAP.

As a result, a reward system has developed. It’s built into the mózg reward mechanism for what is adaptively beneficial, for example. delivery of food. This was to motivate people to continue similar behavior and thus protect them from starvation.

– So if we do something that has been adaptively beneficial in the evolutionary past, such a discrete mechanism is triggered, whichóry we know by the term reward system. This kind of "pleasure trigger" – added Dr. Kaczmarzyk.

Therefore, after eating np. doughnut, the aforementioned system rewards you for doing so and encourages you to continue this activity. This is because the reward system from nerve endings in the prefrontal lobes generates the ejection of dwóch kind ofóin substance: dopamine, or the happiness hormone, and a substance called endogenous opioids. The name of the latter substance is not accidental. – These are substances chemically very similar to drugsóin opiate – explained the neurobiologist.

"You ate a donut, it was fun, eat another one"

– However, this is where the problem begins, because if dopamine and endogenous opioids are released when doing such an innocent thing as eating a donut, we feel so good and are so motivated that we want to do it again. So the chances of not reaching for another doughnut diminish, because the reward system convinces: since you ate a doughnut and it was fun, eat another one – he added.

Countering this – sometimes irresistible – desire for another doughnut can be the prefrontal lobes, an area of consciousness. – This awareness gives us a chance to over these "older" motivation systems to prevail – argued the neuroscientist.

And while the reward system continues to mówi: "You ate a donut, it was fun, eat another one", it is through awareness that ró┬┐ne "but". – These are rational reasons such as. caloric. They can and even should, in the case of humans, provide some kind of alternative to the reward system – pointed out Dr. Kaczmarzyk.

The scientist pointed out that "we are not at a loss. But it is a battle between these two systems that regulate our choices and our behavior".

Doughnuts, although tasty, are very caloric. One doughnut provides as much energy as e.g. A 100-gram pork chop, and burning the energy it provides is not easy. A doughnut having 400 kcal will provide a person with energy for 46 minutes of brisk walking, 57 minutes of window cleaning or 1 hour. and 39 minutes of typing on the computer. Passive sitting in front of the TV would have to last as long as 10 hours., to burn calories from eating one donut.