Today I was in an MRI machine, participating in a research study on the relationship between cardiovascular health and cognition. I’d never had an MRI before, and between the disconcerting variety and loudness of the noises in an all-white, confining space with stuff strapped to my head, I felt like I was living inside some sort of German art installation. In my hand was a clicky device with two buttons for clicking in response to the cognition tests. It was some time before the tests actually started; I was lying there a good while just staring at a sign that said “Waiting for trigger.” And for a while I thought of how waiting for Roy Rogers’s horse would affect the staging or overall theme of Waiting for Godot and then I started thinking of trigger foods. And so, from the Department of Duh, I bring you this New York Times article about how sweet, carby foods make you want to eat more sweet, carby foods: How Carbs Can Trigger Food Cravings. One highlight includes this tidbit:
In addition to raising blood sugar, foods that are sugary and highly caloric elicit pronounced responses in distinct areas of the brain involved in reward. Earlier imaging studies have shown, for example, that the main reward and pleasure center, the nucleus accumbens, lights up more intensely for a slice of chocolate cake than for blander foods like vegetables, and the activation tends to be greater in the brains of obese people than it is in those who are lean.
True fact: you could’ve skipped the science and just asked an obese person.