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University of Minnesota Moment

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August 22, 2006

Obesity and the Brain

New research shows that some brains may be wired to encourage fidgeting and other restless behaviors that consume calories and help control weight. Catherine Kotz, with the VA Medical Center and the U of M, says the study found that the brains of rats bred to be lean are more sensitive to a chemical produced in the brain, orexin A, which stimulates appetite and spontaneous physical activity such as fidgeting and other unconscious movements.

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