The Scientific Reason Teens Can't Eat Just One French Fry

A new study found that diets high in fat alter stomach bacteria, which can affect signals to the brain that signify feeling full.


Does this scenario sound familiar? You're out to eat and instead of ordering your own set of fries, you figure you'll just steal one from your friend's plate. No big deal, right? But suddenly, you find yourself reaching over and grabbing another... and another... and another. (You get the idea.)

There's a reason why we sometimes don't know our limits when it comes to tasty, yet unhealthy foods. A recent study found that diets high in fat make it harder for the brain to tell when the stomach is full. This can lead to overeating. Whether you're an adult, a teen, or in-between, this news is relevant to everyone.

Researchers from the University of Georgia, Washington State University, and Binghamton University conducted a study on rats and discovered a change in the gut bacteria when they consumed a high-fat diet. This bacteria affected the body's ability to signal the brain when feeling full, which results in eating too much and not knowing when to stop.

As for a scientific explanation, the study's principal investigator Krzysztof Czaja, DVm, PhD, says,

The brain is changed by eating unbalanced foods. It induces inflammation in the brain regions responsible for feeding behavior. Those reorganized circuits and inflammation may alter satiety signaling.

Another recent study found that some of teens' favorite foods (fries, pizza, burgers) can be addictive. That's why it's important for teens to take control of what they put in their bodies and load up on nutrients.

Healthy eating doesn't have to be boring! In fact, it can be pretty fun. If you know any teenagers who are picky eaters, share these stories with them:

"Make Over My Meal!" Transform any meal using this healthy-eating hack: the MyPlate method.

"Am You Being Snacked To Death?" This story features helpful (and delicious!) snacking strategies.

"10 Foods Every Teen Should Eat" Learn about the benefits of avocado, peanut butter, and more.

"Survival Guide To Breakfast" Can't forget the most important meal of the day! Here's how to make the most of breakfast.

What are your favorite nutrition tips and tricks for teens? Share with us on Twitter @Choices_Mag!