In a recent study, researchers have found that “obese prone” (aka chubby) individuals are more likely to have lower gray matter volume in the insula, medial orbitofrontal cortex and cerebellum than those individuals who describe themselves as “obese resistant” (aka skinny).
Looking specifically at the insula region of the brain, the researchers found that insula gray matter volume was negatively correlated with leptin concentration..
And as we know from a bunch of studies, low leptin levels are associated with increased feelings of hunger and the consumption of massive quantities of nacho chips.
This research dovetails nicely with previous research linking the insula region of the brain to addictive cravings – cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, etc. So, it’s not too surprising that it’s linked to over-eating as well.
The Researchers – “These findings suggest that individuals at risk for weight gain have structural differences in brain regions known to be important in energy intake regulation, and that these differences, particularly in the insula, may be related to leptin”.
Mine – So what!!! Genetic causes are irrelevant to everyone except for the scientists looking for a “cure”. If your brain structure makes you prone to overeating and obesity, that’s just your (and my) bad luck. Unless you’re a neurosurgeon willing to operate on yourself, the structure of your insula is pretty much set.