Study: High-fat foods cause brain scarring
January 6th, 2012
01:31 PM ET

Study: High-fat foods cause brain scarring

Keeping pounds off long-term is difficult for even the most successful dieter, and scientists may now be on the path to determining why.

A study published recently in The Journal of Clinical Investigation shows that high-fat foods cause damage to the hypothalamus - an area in the brain responsible for hunger, thirst and the body's natural rhythms and cycles - in rodents.

“These are really important papers that begin to push the idea out that we’re not in control as much as we think we are,” says Dr. Steven R. Smith, co-director for the Sanford-Burnham Diabetes and Obesity Research Center, who wasn’t involved with the study.

However, Smith says researchers must first determine if the scarring happening in the rodent models will translate to the human condition. Not everything that scientists observe in rodents also applies to humans, of course, but it is a starting point.

“This is the tip of the spear. We’ve been talking a lot about diet and willpower and exercise and this sort of thing.  This is radically different [thinking] - that diets can actually re-program the structure of the brain.”

The human body is designed to regulate how much fuel is stored as fat through a process called energy homeostasis, the study's lead author Dr. Michael Schwartz says. For a normal-weight person, that's good.  But once a person becomes obese, his or her body seems to want to stay at that new weight permanently.

"That's the biggest problem with obesity treatment," says Schwartz, director of the Diabetes and Obesity Center of Excellence at the University of Washington. "Obese people can lose weight, but they have trouble keeping it off."

Schwartz and his team found evidence of inflammation, or neuron injury, in rats and mice only three days after the rodents consumed foods high in fat.  Although the effect subsided temporarily, a long-term diet of unhealthy fare left permanent damage. Schwartz believes the brain's attempt to heal the injured neurons results in gliosis, a process that leads to scarring in the central nervous system.

The researchers also found a 25% reduction in the number of POMC cells in the rodents on a high-fat diet. POMC cells play a critical role in the body's fat control system, helping regulate appetite and prevent excess weight gain.

"Losing those cells would help explain why a new elevated level of body weight would occur," Schwartz says.

Smith says that the study is the result of more than a decade of hard work from neuro-scientists around the world who are trying to understand the body’s weight loss system.

“It may be a little bit more complicated than how hard we try and what we food we eat,” Smith says. “I don’t know if that makes people feel better or worse, but it gets us out of the blame game.”

He believes this study represents a step in the right direction for obesity treatment.

“Let’s say we could get the wiring straight again and we could reverse some of this gliosis [scarring],” Smith says. “What if we could get the wires to work right again, and make it easier to lose weight? I think that’s really an exciting idea.”

Schwartz’s team analyzed human MRIs during their study, discovering higher levels of gliosis in obese patients. The findings suggest the structural damage occurring in the rodents' brains may be duplicated in humans.

"Most wonder, 'Why can't I keep the weight off?'" Schwartz says. "Trying to come up with an explanation for it has been a challenge. This may be putting us on the path to understanding better why it's so hard."

soundoff (202 Responses)
  1. Lincoln

    This is another example of a scientific study that is so immature and inconclusive that it should never have made it to mainstream media. This is study is strictly in the provence of theoretical science and is in no way, shape, or form adequate to influence anyone's behavior. The one and only conclusion that should be taken from this study is that this is an area that deserves further study. No other conclusion should be drawn from a short term study on the diet of lab rats.

    January 6, 2012 at 13:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • TheFour

      There was no like button to click on... I liked this.

      January 6, 2012 at 13:56 | Report abuse |
    • D

      Yes, heaven forbid that the general public learn about BASIC SCIENCE. What a maroon.

      January 6, 2012 at 14:53 | Report abuse |
    • Brandon

      I don't think you guys understand how science works. Most mammals have very similar wiring and make-up throughout their bodies. Mice have been found to be VERY close in the way their digestion and genetics function to people. The fact that this is happening in mice makes it very likely that it's happening to people and the results of this study point in the direction that overweight people actually have lesions in nerves, etc. It's something that is being covered because of what it could and likely will mean in the future. It has nothing to do with science being bad or not working or even that this is premature. It has everything to do with the fact that we're learning how things work in other animals and how they probably work for us (can't forget that we're also animals).

      January 6, 2012 at 15:15 | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      They did MRI's on obese people too though, so, while you may want to have 100% proof, the researchers and obese folk may want to proceed with trials of more effective strategies, like maybe there is a way to reduce the scaring. If it urns out you get your 100% proof, then it would have been good in hindsight, to have at least started telling people on more good reason to reduce the amount of fat in your diet (if you eat too much fat) is it can / does / might damage your brain in a way that could have permanent, bad health effects. We already know this is 100% for sure for other reasons, scaring could absolutely be another one, makes a lot of sense, inflammation of soft nerve tissue can cause scaring in animals. Probably.

      January 6, 2012 at 15:27 | Report abuse |
    • Michael Saldaris

      Who gives a damn...My grandmother ate Bacon and Eggs for breakfast everyday for 90 years...Cooked everything in pork lard and drank coffee like most people drink water...She lived to be 101 years old and died from "old age".

      This is simple math..If you eat more calories than you burn, you're going to gain weight...I don't care what the hell the food is...Cheeseburgers, Tofu or Organic Figs...

      January 6, 2012 at 15:28 | Report abuse |
    • Your a moron

      If you actually understood anything about the brain at all you would know that it is constantly evolving, changing, and altering. This has been the claim of people who are against narcotics only because they are to ignorant to understand that your brain always changes and scars as you gain memories, knowledge, and understanding.

      You're just incompetent to understand how your own brain functions. I bet you still believe your God is real and the rest of them are false prophets. Please join the rest of us in reality at some point in your life.

      January 6, 2012 at 15:32 | Report abuse |
    • Barry G.

      Do you mean, "premature", instead of immature?

      Have you reviewed the study data and examined their statiscal analysis, or are you just going on your gut feeling?

      January 6, 2012 at 15:38 | Report abuse |
    • RabiaDiluvio

      ...and the way the mainstream reports science is a JOKE. The diet fed to the rodents was not a high fat diet–it was a high SUGAR diet with a high fat content added. In order to get mice or rats to eat fat, you have to add starch and sugar. Otherwise, they won't touch the stuff. The mixture they are given is primarily sugar–it is like icing. They did not isolate types of fat, they were not able to test the fats independent of a high carb diet. It is already well-established that a diet both high in sugar and high in certain types of fat is very pro-inflammatory. They generalized their results to imply that the fat brought about the scarring rather than the impact of eating icing every day. How did this make it through peer review? It is an embarrassment.

      January 6, 2012 at 15:52 | Report abuse |
    • glyder

      i'm with you.i remember the saccharin studies and how they were reported.

      January 6, 2012 at 15:55 | Report abuse |
    • alan s

      To Lincoln: A commenter named D disagreed with you and remarked that you are a maroon. I like that.

      But I, like D, am offended by your entry. You criticize the study. You are wrong. This study is brilliant. I eat several double cheeseburgers and pieces of pie at every meal, and the only exercise I get is walking to the refrigerator, and I have been overweight for many years. Before reading the article I thought I was overweight because of my shameful eating habits and lack of exercise, but now I realize it is because my hypothalamus is scarred. So you see, it isn't my fault at all.

      I agree with D: you are a maroon.

      January 6, 2012 at 16:12 | Report abuse |
    • DeeNYC

      You must be fat.

      January 6, 2012 at 16:49 | Report abuse |
    • stephen

      You're right. It's junk reporting. Funny, that they don't identify the proper fat. Try polyunsaturated fat (Omega 6). That's the problem within the recommended diets in America. Saturated fat is a total ally and works with arterial walls, fights inflammation and maintains a cohesiveness and creates cell membrane rigidity where the omaga 6's, do just the opposite.

      January 6, 2012 at 17:24 | Report abuse |
    • El Jefe

      There was just a study realeased in the journal Neurology, which was far more important than this one. A study, on humans, which showed that trans fats seem to shrink the brain. It also found that elders with higher levels of key vitamins like B, C, D, had larger brains (and better brain function.)

      If anyone hasn't figured it out by now, its real simple: real foods = good; processed foods = bad. The more natural, the better. Plain and simple.

      January 6, 2012 at 17:24 | Report abuse |
    • Washington

      Every time CNN writes an article on some study that was done there is some know it all like you who has to discredit the article with some dumb comment. This article is written by a journalist about a research study that was published in the journal of Clinical Investigation. If you read the study itself, which you clearly did, you would see it is very clearly and specifically detailed.

      January 6, 2012 at 19:14 | Report abuse |
  2. SKaye

    From first hand experience, the results of this study sure does not ring true in my family. Out of my father's ten siblings, of those who did not die because of an accident or serious disease (e.g., MS), they all were sharp as a tack (as they say) until their late 80s or late 90s....and they grew up on foods that were NOT low in fat.

    January 6, 2012 at 14:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • BlahBlah

      Just because they were "sharp as a tack" does not mean it didn't affect their behavior in subtle ways.

      January 6, 2012 at 14:32 | Report abuse |
    • D

      If the family members were not all obese, then this hardly seems relevant.

      January 6, 2012 at 14:55 | Report abuse |
    • MisterPL

      It's all relative. How much sharper might they have been had they avoided high-fat foods?

      January 6, 2012 at 14:58 | Report abuse |
    • freqflyr

      Are you guys reading the same article? This is not about mental sharpness. The author is saying that once a rodent becomes obese his brain triggers his metabalism to stay that weight regardless of outside incentives and initiatives to reduce weight.

      January 6, 2012 at 15:33 | Report abuse |
    • ReadTheArticla

      Hey it didn't say it was going to change your personality or give you alzheimers. It said it effects the part of your brain that regulates your weight and it's only a preliminary theory based on what they have seen in rats so far. If it's proven to be true too much fat food isn't going to give you cognitive brain damage, it's going to damage the part of your brain that believes your normal weight is say 150lbs and the scarring will manipulate that natural balance and increase it.

      January 6, 2012 at 16:24 | Report abuse |
    • DeeNYC

      Maybe to you "sharp as a tack" is "dumb as a rock" to me.

      January 6, 2012 at 16:50 | Report abuse |
  3. SKaye

    And I meant to add, NONE of them were overweight, let alone obese.

    January 6, 2012 at 14:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • D

      Ok, did you miss the part where they saw the brain changes in OBESE humans?

      January 6, 2012 at 14:56 | Report abuse |
  4. Primal

    I love how there is no mention of the kind of fat. Without that information this article is 100% useless.

    January 6, 2012 at 14:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • baconisradglutenisbad

      I bet you it was a high dose of partially hydrogenated oil or some heart healthy canola oil that they gave them.

      January 6, 2012 at 15:27 | Report abuse |
    • EuphoriCrest

      Useless? Ever hear of heuristic value? Look it up.

      January 6, 2012 at 15:43 | Report abuse |
    • Primal

      Yeah sorry EuphoriCrest, this article has none of that either. We cannot live without fat, period. Must have it. The kind of fat used in this stud is the only piece of information that has any value.

      January 9, 2012 at 16:25 | Report abuse |
  5. Kevin

    It's not your fault. You're a victim.

    We need more of that kind of thinking like a hols in the head!

    It doesn't matter if it's hard. If it needs to be done then suck it up and do it anyway!

    January 6, 2012 at 14:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Derek

      You forgot "I'ts not your fault, here's a $150/month prescription" to fix your problem. Don't worry about the untold number of side effects of this med............most of which we have no idea about, yet.

      January 6, 2012 at 14:26 | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Yep, too many people think they're victims. At least the number one victim in the mainstream media has finally gone away. Bye Bye Sarah Palin! So nice not to hear from that whiner every other day.

      January 6, 2012 at 16:33 | Report abuse |
  6. TheFatherofLies

    Drink lots of water. Get enough sleep. Replace white bread with wheat. Eat low-fat yogurt(Dannon) instead of chips. Dont eat fast food more than twice a month. Lift weights and run/jog, it eventually starts feeling good if you stick with it. But don't make an effort to "bulk up". I don't want to sound full of myself or like a blowhard but it's funny how at 31 I still get carded at bars... Taking care of one's self isn't hard with the right information and the determination to stick with something.

    January 6, 2012 at 14:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • billy

      I'll drink to that

      January 6, 2012 at 14:46 | Report abuse |
    • fatty

      I'm obese and also 31 years old. And I still get carded when I go to bars and clubs too, not because of my diet or workout regimen but because I have a young looking face. Not sure about your association between good health and getting carded...?

      January 6, 2012 at 15:23 | Report abuse |
    • Susan

      Good Dannon, with its bevy of high fructose corn syrup and other freakish ingredients.

      Besides milk, fruit and live and active cultures, some DANNON yogurt varieties may contain other ingredients that enhance the flavor, texture and appearance of the finished product:
      Cornstarch: A natural starch extracted from corn, cornstarch helps give body and texture to yogurt. The Food and Drug Administration has deemed modified cornstarch as a Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) ingredient, meaning that it can be safely added to foods under current good manufacturing practices.
      Gluten: This protein is found in wheat, oats, rye and barley. DANNON yogurt products are not formulated to contain gluten, but they can't be considered gluten free. The natural system for stabilizing flavor might contain ingredients derived from gluten sources. Since there is a current lack of consensus on individual sensitivity levels to gluten, and there are no accurate tests to detect the presence and amount of gluten, DANNON yogurt cannot be classified as "gluten free."
      Aspartame: A low-calorie sweetener, aspartame is made of two naturally occurring amino acids: aspartic acid and phenylalanine. Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1981, aspartame has been determined safe for the general population, as well as for people with diabetes.
      Fructose: A simple sugar derived from fruit, fructose is added to several DANNON products for a natural-tasting sweetness.
      Pectin: A fiber derived naturally from fruit, pectin helps thicken the yogurt and create the desired consistency and texture. Some DANNON yogurt varieties may contain a small amount of a pectin blend made from citrus fruits including lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit.
      Gelatin: Some of our products contain gelatin to give them the desired consistency and texture. These varieties bear a "K" on the label indicating kosher certification by Rabbi Dr. David I. Sheinkopf.
      Mineral Compounds: Calcium, potassium and sodium phosphate are mineral compounds that are present naturally in milk. These minerals can be added to our products for specific functions that improve quality. For example, calcium phosphate can be added to enhance the texture and consistency of fruit preparation. Potassium and sodium phosphate may be added, most commonly to Fruit on the Bottom, to prevent the naturally derived fruit color from mixing in with the white yogurt.

      January 6, 2012 at 17:02 | Report abuse |
  7. Derek

    What they should just come out and say is this " We are only researching this for Big Pharma, because our goal is to develop a drug to treat this, not a dietary or lifestyle change"

    Everyone knows the primary reason for health research is drug development, and the money that comes with it.

    Our view of health care is so retarded.

    January 6, 2012 at 14:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Maelius

    Sigh, "Most wonder, 'Why can't I keep the weight off?'" Schwartz says. "Trying to come up with an explanation for it has been a challenge. This may be putting us on the path to understanding better why it's so hard."

    I'm sorry, but people can't keep the weight off because they go back to eating badly and not exercising enough. Diet/exercise is not a temporary thing or something that "needs to get done". Healthy weight is a lifestyle choice. Fun involves physical activity and you have to keep tabs on what you are putting into your mouth.

    January 6, 2012 at 14:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jim

      Evidence suggests that hormonal and metabolic changes may hinder a person's ability to achieve a healthy body weight and that healthy weight is not always a lfiestyle choice (except, perhaps, to the extent that one may choose to go to lengths that many would consider extreme to overcome those changes).

      January 6, 2012 at 14:51 | Report abuse |
  9. Brian

    They achieved the goal of creating obese rats by feeding them a high fat diet. The study was on obese rats. Not rats who ate a normal number of calories composed of a higher proportion of calories from fat. The header is incorrect. The study determined that getting fat scars the brain. Not eating fat. There is a difference. They just happened to have induced fatness by feeding them a diet containing a bunch of fat. The control group was not obese.

    January 6, 2012 at 14:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • D

      Finally someone who understands the article!

      January 6, 2012 at 14:59 | Report abuse |
  10. Shar

    It's all a conspiracy theory. This article is written to help battle American obesity. If people believe that high-fat foods causes brain scarring, they will try to avoid eating high-fat foods, thus lowering occurrences of obesity and other health problems. Therefore, let's protest this! Let's all eat high-fat foods to our heart's content! What does everyone say? Yeah!!!!

    January 6, 2012 at 14:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Clutch

      I'm sure that would make you thrilled, eh fatty? Why don't you put down the fried chicken and get your fat ass on a treadmill for once in your life.

      January 6, 2012 at 15:13 | Report abuse |
    • jaintn

      People know that eating healthier and getting some exercise is how you stay fit, as well as how you lose weight. Of course that's easier said than done or there wouldn't be so many overweight people. What I don't understand are comments like the ones from this Clutch creature. The hatred he or she is spewing against overweight people is palpable and I find that more than a little confusing. Anyway, bottom line is eat well rounded balanced meals, get a little exercise and the weight will come off and stay off. It's hard work for a lot of people, but it works. It's not rocket science and it doesn't require a study.

      January 6, 2012 at 16:06 | Report abuse |
  11. Coriolana

    Who pays these idiots?

    January 6, 2012 at 14:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Jim

    NOW they tell me!

    January 6, 2012 at 14:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. SayNO2dem

    It is true that high fat foods can cause brain scarring. Just look at CNN Nancy Grace. Proof positive.

    January 6, 2012 at 14:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bill Duke

      Or any CNN so-called " reporter" for that matter.

      January 6, 2012 at 16:03 | Report abuse |
  14. Lee

    Such hogwash. And everyone here know it, based on the comments. This article obviously written by an anemic vegan who wants people to live off of broccoli and bean sprouts.

    January 6, 2012 at 14:48 | Report abuse | Reply

    MILLIONS TO BE ASSASSINATED FOR THE SAKE OF $$$ LIABILITIES(mk-ultra, chip implants, electroshocks etc. performed on them) AND NEW WORLD ORDER(multiculturalism = terrorism) POLITICAL AGENDA KNOWN AS "YOU ARE NEXT"(financial liabilities are 2 expensive for the government and it is cheaper to get read of you instead) !!! IF YOU WERE TREATED WITH ELECTROSHOCKS OR DRUGS USED FOR WIPING OUT MEMORY(numerous Americans and Europeans were and are) AFTER ENDURING FORCED CHIP IMPLANTS(or to retard individual = how homeless people are produced), YOU ARE SCHEDULED NEXT !!!






    http://www.youtube.com/user/BostjanAvsec OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE RECORDED LIVE IN 2009 !!! These are hard facts about lunatic Obama/Bush's twilight zone administrations(HORROR) or genocide against whites per ZIONIST Washington DC and in complete agreement with communist Moscow !!!


    January 6, 2012 at 14:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chemack56

      Someone's been eating a FEW too many Twinkies.

      January 6, 2012 at 15:17 | Report abuse |
    • Phil A. Dendrum

      Did you forget to take your meds today? I'm concerned for you...

      January 6, 2012 at 17:04 | Report abuse |
  16. dheape

    Keeping the weight off is difficult for even the most successful dieters!

    January 6, 2012 at 14:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. pat

    Now I finish what I thought was an interesting article but then I read the comments. We live in a time when everyone thinks
    they are qualified to to comment on scientific research as if THEY were the ones who sacrificed their time to study something that truely interested them until they received an advanced degree in the subject.

    January 6, 2012 at 14:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Steve

    Complete and utter BS. From perhaps 3 million years ago to today, humans and our predecessors ate high fat diets. So they were "scarring their brains" all along huh? Mother Nature just screwed up big with them and got them eating food that scars them. So do lions have scarred brains as a result of their diet?

    Remember CNNs "health" section routinely recommends idiotic things like eating "healthy" poptarts for breakfast. They are about a decade or two behind the times and are probably sponsored by Kraft foods. Please respect your health, do not take action based on anything you read on this site!!!!

    January 6, 2012 at 14:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • The all potent one

      So Lions are able to get processed meat? Do they serve lions at McD's in africa? Your post is rather comical

      January 6, 2012 at 15:03 | Report abuse |
    • D

      Do you really think that people living in the wild ate a high fat diet? Wild game is very lean. Poultry/birds are lean. Fish is lean. Maybe they got some nuts once in a while. No sugar. Not until dairy came around would it be easy to get fat.

      January 6, 2012 at 15:03 | Report abuse |
  19. Zephyr

    Just another excuse for the obese to use for why it isn't their fault that they are fat. If you're fat, it's fine, just own it.

    January 6, 2012 at 14:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Steve

    Dr. Gupta, you should be embarrassed to be associated with this so called "health" site. Don't you realize you are risking people's health with unfounded stories like this and sensational headlines?

    January 6, 2012 at 14:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Steve

    Staying thin is not that hard. Just cut the carbs and keep your calories in check.

    January 6, 2012 at 14:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Char

    What kind of fats are we talking about here and how long does it take for gliosis to occur after exposure to fats?

    January 6, 2012 at 14:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • D

      Would have been nice if they would have included this info in the article here. Doubt they were giving them the burger and fries in the pic.

      January 6, 2012 at 15:05 | Report abuse |
  23. Professor Trollworth

    I eat 8 Big Macs a day. I wonder if I could be affected.

    January 6, 2012 at 15:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Zephyr


      January 6, 2012 at 15:04 | Report abuse |
  24. Leucadia Bob

    Studies have shown that this does NOT apply to BACON!

    January 6, 2012 at 15:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Vegas

    “It may be a little bit more complicated than how hard we try and what we food we eat,” Smith says.
    What we food we eat? Does anyone proofread these articles? Scares me to think this is supposed to be factual scientific research.....

    January 6, 2012 at 15:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. SuZieCoyote

    This is crap science. What kinds of fat? This makes all the difference. Evidence shows that it is trans fats that are devastating to humans in nearly every regard. It also shows that saturated fats are damaging primarily when combined with refined sugars/carbs, which are the real culprit in most ailments, especially when combined with trans fats. Heaven forbid we transfats illegal as they have in Europe. This would PO agribusiness. Likewise, we best not disparage HFCs, cane sugar or other "natural" sweetners.

    January 6, 2012 at 15:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. TheFatherofLies

    THe problem people have is losing weight once they become overweight. If you're born with slender or average genes and you have the common sense to change your diet and activity levels when you find yourself gaining you'll be fine. People with the genes that lend themselves to weightgain who don't combat the problem will have a much greater struggle than others. The brain damage bit is just to get you to read something you already should know but may not be acting on.

    January 6, 2012 at 15:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Clutch

      Fatties gonna fat.

      January 6, 2012 at 15:12 | Report abuse |
  28. Shelly

    So, all fat people are stupid now, in addition to being lazy? Give me a break!

    January 6, 2012 at 15:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Clutch

      Yes, they're fat BECAUSE they're stupid. No smart person would do that to their body.

      January 6, 2012 at 15:14 | Report abuse |
    • Shaner Eh

      Fat people are not stupid, they know very well that candy is going straight to their asses! There is no excuse for being fat!!!

      January 6, 2012 at 15:22 | Report abuse |
  29. Shaner Eh

    Sounds like a bunch of scientific hog wash! Let's give fat people another reason why they lack self control to eat correct. There is no chemistry behind gluttony, it is a lack of discipline. Now fat people have another scientific reason why they can stay fat, and keep getting fatter so as to collect a dissability check, drive up health care costs for everyone, park in handicap spaces, and make fat stupid handicap faces.

    There is no scientific excuse for being fat!

    January 6, 2012 at 15:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Chemack56

    The anti-science tone of many of these comments is a little frightening. The Teapublican minions shouldn't be given access to computers.

    January 6, 2012 at 15:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Clutch

      Actually fatman, it's anti- BAD SCIENCE. This study is garbage pushed by a fat man to make other fatties feel like it isn't their fault they're a disgusting burden on the healthcare system.

      January 6, 2012 at 15:24 | Report abuse |
    • jaintn

      Yeah, and Clutch is merely a disgusting burden to the human race.

      January 6, 2012 at 16:36 | Report abuse |
  31. rick santorumtwit... America's favorite frothy one

    I consume my own @nal foam.

    January 6, 2012 at 15:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Johnny

    Let's face it, the fatties won't be thin until there is a magic pill that does it for them. God knows they'll never have the self-control to do it themselves.

    January 6, 2012 at 15:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Billiam Hillary

      Lets face it, Johhny will never be smart until there is a magic pill that does it for him. God knows he'll l never have the self-control to educate himself.

      January 6, 2012 at 16:09 | Report abuse |
  33. Shaner Eh

    Actually, it isn't even fat that is making people fat. It is the lack of eating protien and fat, combined with the increased consumption of very sugary carbohydrates. I guarantee if you ate nothing but protien and fat for a week or two straight, you will loose a lot of weight!

    January 6, 2012 at 15:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Barry G.

    Do we really need a study to tell us that eating such foods is detrimental to our brains?

    Common sense tells me that good health is promoted by proper sleep, exercise and diet.

    January 6, 2012 at 15:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. krm

    anything for a little grant money, eh boys? who cares? I float between 170-180 and eat what I want. stay the heII outta my way.

    January 6, 2012 at 15:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bill Duke

      This is what happens when you put the "cradle to grave" types in charge.

      January 6, 2012 at 16:07 | Report abuse |
  36. RabiaDiluvio

    It demonstrates NO SUCH THING! Rodents in research are fed the equivalent of icing when fed a "high fat diet"–fat and SUGAR. (Without the sugar they won't go near it. The sugar is what will make them eat it.) In this particular study it is basically icing made with lard. This is not a high fat diet, it is a high SUGAR diet with a high fat content. Once again, instead of looking at the types of fat independently and looking at the VERY INFLAMMATORY effect of eating a high carb/high sugar diet independently and then in combination with fats, they are generalizing their results to imply that the fat is the culprit. I just sought out and read the study in question–this is so far from good science it is LAUGHABLE. How it even made it through peer review boggles the mind.

    January 6, 2012 at 15:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • faustus

      Don't even bother. It is making news because it means people can blame external sources for their problems.

      January 6, 2012 at 17:19 | Report abuse |
    • RabiaDiluvio

      The problem is that some momo is going to latch onto this as "proof that eating fat rots your brain" and that people should be eating a low fat diet to stay brain healthy. The opposite is true–it is the sugar in combination with the fat that is the real culprit here. Fats in and of themselves not only do not harm the brain or hypothalamus but are GOOD for the brain and hypothalamus. The reason this study is making news is because bad science is lauded in the press, especially if it bolsters the pro-vegan agenda of CSPI or PETA (masquerading as PCRM).

      January 6, 2012 at 17:30 | Report abuse |
  37. voxx33

    I can believe that just look at the GOP.

    January 6, 2012 at 15:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bill Duke

      A better example would be our own gaffe master VP Joe Biden. He never met a situation where he couldn't find an inappropriate and usually clueless thing to say.

      January 6, 2012 at 16:05 | Report abuse |
  38. jaintn

    I'm just bummed that rodents get tastier food than I do.

    January 6, 2012 at 15:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Bruce Lee


    January 6, 2012 at 16:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Kevin Roberts

    Another article and scientific study that's agenda driven. Just keep pushing for that vegan society it will never happen.

    January 6, 2012 at 16:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bill Duke

      I hear the cries of the carrots!

      January 6, 2012 at 16:06 | Report abuse |
  41. Omega 3,6,9 Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)

    are the fats used by our brains, nervous system sheaths(electrical insulation) and cell walls (phospholipids.) Eat hemp seeds, flax/evening primrose seeds/oil, almonds and walnuts daily: pregnant &nursing mothers, especially.

    January 6, 2012 at 16:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. ken

    All of these health scares are interesting. McDonalds started when I was a kid! Everyone ate those burgers. The US livespan was around 65 years old. No it is nearing 80! I would conclude that the American diet has increased lifespan by 23%. The low sodium diet has been recently debunked. Basically, science doesn't know crap! There is nothing wrong with ignorance as long as you try to gain knowledge. But to hypothesize junk science without experiment is a criminal offense! Intelligent people know that everything in moderation works, from food to drink, from rest to exercise. The government is wasting too much money on college professors who do junk science instead of teach. And the news media, because journalists are probably the most uneducated profession, always bites on the hype of junk science. Any parent whose kid did not get vaccinated and got the disease needs to sue a news outlet for spreading lies, for spreading false medical information, for malpractice of medicine. It is time for journalists to need malpractice insurance!

    January 6, 2012 at 16:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Eric

    "My brain? But that's my second favorite organ!" - Woody Allen

    January 6, 2012 at 16:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Eric

    Well at least we have one possible explanation for the often bizarre voting patterns of certain groups of Americans ... brain scarring.

    January 6, 2012 at 16:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. DeeNYC

    Most fat people i've encountered are dumb so it makes sense to me. I mean there has to be something wrong with you if you allow yourself to bloat to 300lbs.

    January 6, 2012 at 16:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Michele R.

    Now I understand what truly happened to all the low lifes in my community. Lack of ambition and drive equals hanging out too much at Micky D's. They're brain scarred!

    January 6, 2012 at 16:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Bruce Heinemann

    the HUGE flaw in this study is that it doesn't define "bad fat"... Your brain needs fat to work properly... Contrary to what you've been told, saturated fat is not bad for you... the human species evolved on it... It is the man made fats like poly-unsaturated fats and trans-fats that are the killers... Omega-3 balanced with Omega 6, and saturated fats are what we are designed to run on. The bad fats mentioned combined with a high starch and processed food diet is the culprit in overall health damage. I would bet this study didn't even structure the study based on different types of fats... just lumped them all together... remember "fat doesn't make you fat, processed foods, carbohydrates and sugars make you fat" We are genetically programmed to run on these natural fats mentioned above, not processed food and sugar!

    January 6, 2012 at 17:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • RabiaDiluvio

      The study is a joke. You cannot isolate the culprit causing the inflammation or scarring if you feed a rodent icing made with lard. They fed them a high sugar diet with fat added, not a high fat diet and they most certainly didn't demonstrate that any fat would do the same. How it even made it through peer review into a third-tier journal is a mystery. We already know the inflammatory effects of a diet high in both sugar and lard.

      We have also witnessed what happens when indigenous populations (e.g. in the arctic) which traditionally consume large amounts of saturated fat add sugars and starches to the mix–diseases of civilization: obesity, hypertension, heart disease, etc.

      January 6, 2012 at 17:37 | Report abuse |
  48. SuZieCoyote

    Betcha this study was funded by those interested in continuing to lace our foods with transfats and SUGAR, while discouraging us from eating truly healthy, whole foods that include honest, saturated, god-for-you fats.

    January 6, 2012 at 17:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • RabiaDiluvio

      I ...I think I might just love you.

      All they really demonstrated is that eating ICING all day long might be a bad idea. They really cannot make the leap that the fat itself is the culprit.

      January 6, 2012 at 17:39 | Report abuse |
  49. PSAztec

    There is an interesting article on experience life dot com called a Big Fat Mistake. It details how saturated fat is not the enemy for Cardiovascular disease (CVD) but rather that sugars, refined carbs and trans fat are more of a cause of CVD than saturated fat. We are told that fat is the enemy, but really it is the sugars, refined carb & trans fat that are causing us more harm. You can see studies on how the more soda we drink, the more obease we are as a country. I think we can agree that folks need to eat more veggies like dark green lettuces, bell peppers, broccoli and other good veggies, etc., but less of the starchy veggies like corn, etc. Enjoy lean meat. You can get rid of the 73% & 80% hamburger. Enjoy your lean cuts like steaks and roasts!! Put the candy bars and cheese its down!

    January 6, 2012 at 17:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. boredatschool

    go lick a ball sacks

    January 6, 2012 at 17:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • boredatschool


      January 6, 2012 at 17:39 | Report abuse |
    • boredatschool

      ALLAH CLEANSE ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      January 6, 2012 at 17:47 | Report abuse |
    • stayinschool

      please finish your work!

      January 6, 2012 at 17:49 | Report abuse |
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.