There are many reasons why people overeat. There’s stress eating, emotional eating and just eating because you’re bored. Previous research found that the combination of salt, sugar and fat found in fast and convenience foods also stimulates overeating.
“So these glutamate neurons, which normally function to suppress feeding, were kind of toning down their firing patterns,” Basiri said.
In the study, as the mice got fatter, neurons got worse at putting the brakes on eating. The team hopes this leads to new ways to treat obesity in people one day.
Now, the research team is working on isolating an even smaller set of cells that are affected by overeating.