Noshing: This is why it’s hard to resist junk food

Noshing: This is why it’s hard to resist junk food

It’s called Noshing, and it’s that mechanism that clicks in us when we can’t resist junk food, or a food that’s high in sugar and fat (and of course calories) like sweets and snacks. As I had already anticipated when talking about hyperphagia, that is the tendency to overeat without getting full, noshing is a mechanism that arises from a part of the brain called the amygdala. To understand us, the amygdala is that part of our brain linked to the most primitive impulses. It is in fact the center of our emotions, in particular of fear, and is what is activated in the face of the need to escape in dangerous situations.


The amygdala is greatly underestimated when it comes to overweight, in the sense that little is known about its effects on metabolism. Instead, it has an important influence on our hormones, especially those of stress.
But let’s get back to the mechanism whereby it’s hard to resist junk food. Noshing, or the tendency to eat with pleasure without knowing how to say enough, is linked to the amygdala for reasons that we can define as “ancestral”.

You must consider that man throughout history has always faced situations of famine that put his existence at risk. This from primitive man until a few centuries ago, especially in rural contexts.

The holiday periods for the farmer were those in which the harvest was celebrated, for example, and it was normal to have tables and make every good of God available on those occasions. In ancient times, there were few occasions when food was abundant. In those cases it happened that we gorged ourselves until we burst, in anticipation of the lean times that would come.

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