Though most of us have experienced that lazy feeling after eating a large meal, researchers from California say their new study indicates that consistently eating processed foods and being overweight makes people tired and inactive, contrary to some beliefs maintaining laziness leads to obesity.
According to medicalnewstoday.com, researchers from UCLA conducted their study in rats, whose physiological systems are very similar to those of humans. Placing them in two groups, the team then fed the 32 female rats one of two diets for a period of six months.
The first group ate a normal rat’s diet of unprocessed foods – such as ground corn and fish meal – whereas the second group was fed a lower-quality, processed diet with much more sugar. This diet served as a proxy for a junk food diet, the team says.
Observing changes over 3 months, the team noticed the rats on the junk food diet became obese, whereas the group that ate a normal, unprocessed diet did not.
“As part of the study, the rats were given a task in which they were required to press a lever to receive a food or water reward. The rats on the junk food diet demonstrated impaired performance, taking substantially longer breaks than the lean rats before returning to the task. In a 30-minute session, the overweight rats took breaks that were nearly twice as long as the lean ones,” reported UCLA Newsroom.