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Can’t stick to a diet and lose weight? Blame your brain – not your lack of …

Have you ever tried to cut back on calories and been sung to shipwreck by the siren call of fatty food?

Don’t beat yourself up, because it might actually be your greedy brain cells that caused you to ditch the salad and scoff a saveloy insted.


Scientists at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute indicated certain parts of the brain make us feel unhappy when we aren’t stuffing our face.

These “AGRP neurons” could be ruining our mood when we aren’t eating, potentially driving us to snack uncontrollably.

Whenever someone breaks their diet, they could actually be subconsciously trying to switch off these neurons, which make hunger feel very unpleasant.

Their research flies in the face of fatty-flogging meanies like Katie Hopkins, who said chubby folk only need “eat less and move more” to shed those unsightly pounds.

Paul Harizan/Getty Images

Have this man’s neurons sent him down the chip shop?

In the wild, these brain cells make animals feed when they are hungry – but in humans they may be making dieters feel so miserable that they have to reach for the sausage roll when they should be starving themselves.

“We suspect that these neurons are a very old motivational system to force an animal to satisfy its physiological needs [hunger],” said Scott Sternson, who led a study into these greed causing brain cells.

“Part of the motivation for seeking food is to shut these neurons off.”

He took a group of mice and stimulated these cells whenever they ate certain foods – essentially making them feel hungry – and left them alone when they ate other types.

The mice quickly learned to avoid the food which resulted in the hunger feelings, choosing the food which resulted in the AGRP neurons being switched off.

“We suspect that what these neurons are doing is imposing a cost on not dealing with your physiological needs,” Sternson added.

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