Previous studies have shown that obesity carries the power to overwhelmingly change your brain chemistry, according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center.
Study authors examined data on 43 men and women with different amounts of body fat. Findings revealed that obese individuals were more susceptible to environmental food cues than their leaner counterparts as difference in brain chemistry triggered habitual eating that was less rewarding over time.
Furthermore, findings revealed that obese individuals generally showed greater dopamine activity in the habit-forming centers of their brains than thinner counterparts as well as less activity in brain regions that controlled reward centers.
"While we cannot say whether obesity is a cause or an effect of these patterns of dopamine activity, eating based on unconscious habits rather than conscious choices could make it harder to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, especially when appetizing food cues are practically everywhere," said lead study author Kevin D. Hall, Ph.D., a senior investigator at National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), in a news release. "This means that triggers such as the smell of popcorn at a movie theater or a commercial for a favorite food may have a stronger pull for an obese person - and a stronger reaction from their brain chemistry - than for a lean person exposed to the same trigger."
Researchers believe that these brain differences may, in part, have to do with increases that explain why many overweight or obese individuals experiences less food enjoyment that leads to overeating.