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An Interesting Finding on Rats/Humans

This is an excerpt from the book Waistland: The R/evolutionary Science Behind Our Weight and Fitness Crisis written by Harvard psychologist Deirdre Barrett. You will realize how an experiment on rats proves pivotal for humans.

“A study of adolescent rats demonstrates how fast the loss of exercise may affect us. Given exercise wheels, adolescent rats grew much stronger than rats without wheels. When experiments locked the wheels, however, the rats’ bodies started to change—quickly, just five hours after exercise ceased, the rat’s abdominal fat cells began emitting chemical signals that made them start to swell. After two days of no exercise, the fat cells got 19 percent larger—and the rats stomach fat increased by 48 percent.”

I, faintly, remember reading a similar kind of experiment—a psychology report, perhaps. On the flipside, however, the above finding obviously states humans have to move or exercise regularly. The book Human behavior and the Principle of Least Effort written by George Kingsley Zipf, however, say that people do what’s easiest, not what’s best. In other words, most of us brush aside the hurdles, in any field, that could have been overcome by effort. All we desire is attempts that require the least resistance.

Nonetheless, the above finding on rats should act as an eye opener. We humans are constantly bombarded with the most gratifying advertisements–The advertisements that adversely prompt us to consume various kinds of junk foods. So, we have a dual battle to wage. One is of not exercising and the other is over eating and eating all the wrong food. We should know, however, that if you exercise regularly you, in all likelihood, will stop overeating. Exercising and healthy eating go hand in hand; similarly, over eating and not exercising goes together.

Take home message: Exercise regularly, for it can decrease your appetite. Although it’s a temporary appetite suppression yet many people find that exercising makes them reconsider food choices. It may further lead to healthier eating habits. For example, after running or working out for an hour you might be less inclined to eat junk food; instead, you may choose something healthy. You are, plainly, being more conscious of your actions.

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