Is Obesity a Side Effect of PAIN?

According to  Dr. Peggy Mason (chair of Neurobiology – U of Chicago), eating is a natural form of pain relief.

During the course of her research, Dr. Mason found that rats will not react to moderate amounts of pain while they are eating or even if they are being given a squirt of water directly into its mouth.

Similar to the effect of morphine, eating or drinking causes a part of your brain (the medullary raphe) to automatically and unconsciously block pain sensations.

And while this may be a useful tool for animals in the wild who are faced with food shortages, it is less helpful for humans have 24-7 access to inexpensive, calorie dense food.

And, to make things worse, not only can your medullary raphe ease your pain, it also inhibits your ability to STOP EATING.

And as a result of this double whammy, Dr. Mason concludes that biology trumps will power and that obesity is not as simple as “eat less & move more”.




  1. The ramifications for this is actually quite large if you think about it. If food is giving someone pain relief, like morphine, then this may explain why people carry on overeating even when they have become sick by doing so. The only way they know to feel better is to eat.

  2. This is so true. I’m beginning to think I use food as my morphine of choice. Not just normal meals but the junk-like crap. It doesn’t even taste that good to me anymore. But still,I can’t seem to ignore the cravings 😦

  3. Very interesting post to stumble upon. When you really think it through, it becomes apparent that our biology is wired in a way that was never intended for today’s food environment. We’re like machines that go haywire!! And I know from my personal experience it’s damn hard to fight against!!

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