Your response to high calorie (in other words, delicious) food is all about your genes. Thanks Mum and Dad

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Buttery layers of puff pastry. Melty chocolate fondants. Warmed sourdough daubed with preserves. There are few things more irresistible than foods that taste good but aren't too great for your waistline. 

 

And new research shows that your ability to resist the lure of the pudding menu might be down to your brain's wiring. 

 

Researchers from Imperial College London have found that two gene variants called FTO and DRD2 had an impact on brain activity when the test subjects looked at pictures of high-calorie foods. 

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Using a brain scanner, the academics were able to measure participants' responses to indulgent fare as opposed to the healthier stuff. Those who had the FTO and DRD2 gene variation were found to have greater activation in a part of the brain called the orbitofrontal cortex when looking at high-calorie foods, indicating they found them more appealing than the low-calorie options. 

 

The results suggest that the reason people with this gene variation are more likely to be obese is because their brains give them an enhanced reward from fat-packed treats and, as such, bigger cravings. 

 

Dr Anthony Goldstone MD, who led the study, said: "It means they may experience more cravings than the average person when presented with high-calorie foods –  that is those high in fat and/or sugar – leading them to eat more of these foods." 

 

Now we just have to find out what our genetic make up is; it could be a handy excuse for that second helping of cheesecake.

 

 

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