A recent UCLA study appearing in the April 10, 2014 edition of the journal "Physiology and Behavior" suggests that chronic overeating and poor diet cause fatigue.
Dr. Aaron Blaisdell and colleagues put 32 laboratory rats on two different diets: The first group of animals ate unprocessed foods including ground corn and fish meal; the second group ate processed foods with larger amounts of sugar — the lab rat equivalent of junk food.
Three months later, the investigators found that the rats on the junk-food diet gained significantly more weight.
The researchers also gave the animals tasks such as pressing a lever for water or food, and the heavier rats were slower in completing the tasks, taking almost twice as many breaks compared with the lean animals.
After six months, the researchers gave the nutritious diet to the overweight rats for nine days, which had no effect on their weight or speed of activity. They also put the lean rats on junk food for nine days; this also had no effect on their weight or activity speed.
The findings suggest that long-termeating patterns are what affect weight and mental state.
Dr. Blaisdell noted, “Overweight people often get stigmatized as lazy and lacking discipline. We interpret our results as suggesting that the idea commonly portrayed in the media that people become fat because they are lazy is wrong. Our data suggest that diet-induced obesity is a cause, rather than an effect, of laziness.”
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