Football fans faced with a frosty pitcher of beer and a heaping platter of wings on Super Bowl Sunday often respond as if it were fourth-and-goal — they go for it.
But weight-conscious people should heed the humble rat, which stays trim by instinctively cutting calories when indulging in alcoholic drinks, say researchers at the University of Florida’s psychology department and the Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Brain Institute.
Rats also know how to say no to the brew, stopping at what would amount to two or three drinks in most people, according to a paper in the current issue of Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior. Many people ignore the same instinct — a shortcoming that can spell dietary disaster. “Behavior in humans is complicated because we are bombarded by social and marketing factors that stick food in front of our face every which way we turn,” said Neil Rowland, Ph.D., a professor of psychology who studies the neural mechanisms of obesity, eating disorders and alcohol abuse. “It’s difficult to say no.”
John Pastor | EurekAlert!
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