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VOA慢速英语2018 嘴馋其实是大脑在"作祟"

时间:2018-01-13 21:21来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]

Food Cravings: They're All in Your Brain.

From VOA Learning English, this is the Health & Lifestyle report.


We have all been there. It's 3 o'clock and you've been hard at work. As you sit at your desk, a strong desire for chocolate overcomes you. You try to busy yourself to make it go away. But it doesn't. In fact, the more you try to NOT think about a square of deep, dark chocolate melting in your mouth, the more you want it. You can even smell it!


Here is another scenario2. Perhaps you are not feeling well. You’re coming down with a cold and feel rundown. The only thing you want to eat is a big, bowl of chicken soup, like your mom used to make when you were sick as a child.


A food craving1 is a strong desire for a specific type of food. And they are normal. Most people have them even though what we crave3 might be different. One person might crave sweet chocolate, while another might crave salty potato chips.


Sometimes the foods we crave are not super healthy ones but rather fatty or sugary foods. Or sometimes we crave foods from our childhoods, like American meatloaf, Polish pirogues or Vietnamese pho. Other times the cravings may be for something healthy but very specific, such as Japanese sushi or Korean kimchi.


But where do food cravings come from? And how are they different from hunger?


Scientists at the website How Stuff Works compare hunger and cravings this way. Hunger is a fairly simply connection between the stomach and the brain. They even call it simply "stomach hunger."

科学家在《原来如此》(How Stuff Works)网站将饥饿和嘴馋进行了比较。饥饿是胃和大脑之间一种简单的联系。可暂且将其称为“肚子饿”。

The website explains that when our stomachs burn up all of the food we have eaten, a hormone4 (gherlin) sends a message to the one part of the brain, the hypothalamus, for more food. The hypothalamus regulates our most basic body functions such as thirst, hunger and sleep. The brain then releases a chemical to start the appetite. And you eat.


A craving is more complicated. It involves several areas of the brain. These areas make up the reward center of the brain. A craving can also be tied to our mental state and memory. So, some scientists call food cravings "mind hunger."


Scientists add that while hunger is a function of survival, cravings are not. People often crave foods that are high in fat and sugar and not foods that can keep us alive. Foods that are high in fat or high in sugar release chemicals in the brain. These chemicals give us feelings of pleasure and even mild (and temporary) euphoria -- much like a drug.


Back in 2004, researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine studied food craving and the brain. They used functional5 magnetic resonance6 imaging or, fMRI, to show that food cravings activate7 brain areas related to emotion, memory and reward. These are the same areas of the brain activated8 during drug-craving studies.


The lead author of this study was Marcia Levin Pelchat, a sensory9 psychologist. She says that the finding of the study is "consistent with the idea that cravings of all kinds, whether for food, drugs, or designer shoes, have common mechanisms10."


They work the same way in the brain. Food cravings, drug addiction12, and addictive13 behaviors such as gambling14 and over-shopping follow similar neural15 pathways.


Studies show that our mental state affects our food cravings but not really our hunger levels. Also, our food memories affect what we crave and when. For example, if a child is given sweets when he or she feels sad or upset, that may lead to food cravings for sweets later in life. The reward system in the brain may lead us to seek out familiar pleasures.


In a 2007 study, researchers at Cambridge University found that “dieting or restricted eating generally increase the likelihood of food craving.” So, the more you deny yourself a food that you want, they more you may crave it. However, fasting is a bit different. They found that eating no food at all for a short period of time, lessened16 food cravings.


So, the next time you crave food from your childhood or have a hankering for something very specific, know that your brain may be more to blame than your stomach.


Words in This Story

hypothalamus – n. a part of the brain that lies beneath the thalamus, produces hormones17 which pass to the front part of the pituitary gland18, and is important in regulating the activities of the autonomic nervous system

appetite – n. a physical desire for food

reward – n. a stimulus19 (such as food) that is administered to an organism and serves to reinforce a desired response

euphoria – n. a feeling of well-being20 or elation21

activate – v. chemistry : to cause (a chemical reaction or natural process) to begin

scenario – n. a description of what could possibly happen

come down (with something) – phrasal verb to catch or show signs of an illness

run-down – adj. not used before a noun : in poor health or physical condition : worn-out or exhausted22

crave – v. to have a very strong desire for something : craving – n.

consistent – adj. continuing to happen or develop in the same way

mechanism11 – n. a process or system that is used to produce a particular result

neural – adj. of, relating to, or involving a nerve or the nervous system

diet – v. to eat less food or to eat only particular kinds of food in order to lose weight

fast – v. to eat no food for a period of time

hankering – n. informal + old-fashioned : to have a strong or constant desire for something


1 craving zvlz3e     
  • a craving for chocolate 非常想吃巧克力
  • She skipped normal meals to satisfy her craving for chocolate and crisps. 她不吃正餐,以便满足自己吃巧克力和炸薯片的渴望。
2 scenario lZoxm     
  • But the birth scenario is not completely accurate.然而分娩脚本并非完全准确的。
  • This is a totally different scenario.这是完全不同的剧本。
3 crave fowzI     
  • Many young children crave attention.许多小孩子渴望得到关心。
  • You may be craving for some fresh air.你可能很想呼吸呼吸新鲜空气。
4 hormone uyky3     
  • Hormone implants are used as growth boosters.激素植入物被用作生长辅助剂。
  • This hormone interacts closely with other hormones in the body.这种荷尔蒙与体內其他荷尔蒙紧密地相互作用。
5 functional 5hMxa     
  • The telephone was out of order,but is functional now.电话刚才坏了,但现在可以用了。
  • The furniture is not fancy,just functional.这些家具不是摆着好看的,只是为了实用。
6 resonance hBazC     
  • Playing the piano sets up resonance in those glass ornaments.一弹钢琴那些玻璃饰物就会产生共振。
  • The areas under the two resonance envelopes are unequal.两个共振峰下面的面积是不相等的。
7 activate UJ2y0     
  • We must activate the youth to study.我们要激励青年去学习。
  • These push buttons can activate the elevator.这些按钮能启动电梯。
8 activated c3905c37f4127686d512a7665206852e     
adj. 激活的 动词activate的过去式和过去分词
  • The canister is filled with activated charcoal.蒸气回收罐中充满了活性炭。
9 sensory Azlwe     
  • Human powers of sensory discrimination are limited.人类感官分辨能力有限。
  • The sensory system may undergo long-term adaptation in alien environments.感觉系统对陌生的环境可能经过长时期才能适应。
10 mechanisms d0db71d70348ef1c49f05f59097917b8     
n.机械( mechanism的名词复数 );机械装置;[生物学] 机制;机械作用
  • The research will provide direct insight into molecular mechanisms. 这项研究将使人能够直接地了解分子的机理。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He explained how the two mechanisms worked. 他解释这两台机械装置是如何工作的。 来自《简明英汉词典》
11 mechanism zCWxr     
  • The bones and muscles are parts of the mechanism of the body.骨骼和肌肉是人体的组成部件。
  • The mechanism of the machine is very complicated.这台机器的结构是非常复杂的。
12 addiction JyEzS     
  • He stole money from his parents to feed his addiction.他从父母那儿偷钱以满足自己的嗜好。
  • Areas of drug dealing are hellholes of addiction,poverty and murder.贩卖毒品的地区往往是吸毒上瘾、贫困和发生谋杀的地方。
13 addictive hJbyL     
  • The problem with video game is that they're addictive.电子游戏机的问题在于它们会使人上瘾。
  • Cigarettes are highly addictive.香烟很容易使人上瘾。
14 gambling ch4xH     
  • They have won a lot of money through gambling.他们赌博赢了很多钱。
  • The men have been gambling away all night.那些人赌了整整一夜。
15 neural DnXzFt     
  • The neural network can preferably solve the non- linear problem.利用神经网络建模可以较好地解决非线性问题。
  • The information transmission in neural system depends on neurotransmitters.信息传递的神经途径有赖于神经递质。
16 lessened 6351a909991322c8a53dc9baa69dda6f     
  • Listening to the speech through an interpreter lessened its impact somewhat. 演讲辞通过翻译的嘴说出来,多少削弱了演讲的力量。
  • The flight to suburbia lessened the number of middle-class families living within the city. 随着迁往郊外的风行,住在城内的中产家庭减少了。
17 hormones hormones     
n. 荷尔蒙,激素 名词hormone的复数形式
  • This hormone interacts closely with other hormones in the body. 这种荷尔蒙与体內其他荷尔蒙紧密地相互作用。
  • The adrenals produce a large per cent of a man's sex hormones. 肾上腺分泌人体的大部分性激素。
18 gland qeGzu     
  • This is a snake's poison gland.这就是蛇的毒腺。
  • Her mother has an underactive adrenal gland.她的母亲肾上腺机能不全。
19 stimulus 3huyO     
  • Regard each failure as a stimulus to further efforts.把每次失利看成对进一步努力的激励。
  • Light is a stimulus to growth in plants.光是促进植物生长的一个因素。
20 well-being Fe3zbn     
  • He always has the well-being of the masses at heart.他总是把群众的疾苦挂在心上。
  • My concern for their well-being was misunderstood as interference.我关心他们的幸福,却被误解为多管闲事。
21 elation 0q9x7     
  • She showed her elation at having finally achieved her ambition.最终实现了抱负,她显得十分高兴。
  • His supporters have reacted to the news with elation.他的支持者听到那条消息后兴高采烈。
22 exhausted 7taz4r     
  • It was a long haul home and we arrived exhausted.搬运回家的这段路程特别长,到家时我们已筋疲力尽。
  • Jenny was exhausted by the hustle of city life.珍妮被城市生活的忙乱弄得筋疲力尽。
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