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BBC Food on the brain

The human brain is the most powerful organ in the body. It controls our movement our senses our
thoughts. It makes us who we are yet for some of us it cannot control what we eat.

You have the notion that fat is bad. Yes, fat is bad. Your brain is about 65% fat.

In this film I want to look at how food affects the brain. I

If you want your brain to function well you've got to be feeding it with the right stuff.

What happens in our brain when we eat certain types of food and why can some of us not stop
eating. I don't think 350 is too bad you got people walking around here 400 500 pounds.

Our scientists really planning to use poo to combat obesity. They even have poo pills now so. Poo
pills?well you see Lola poo useful Oh poo and. I will never be swollen poo.

How does what a pregnant mother eat affect the brain of her unborn child.

with remember that the food that we're consuming during pregnancy is the fuel for the developing
baby. What are the big food giants doing to help.

This a disaster because it's like having free drugs on every corner I think they're evil bastards.

If this doesn't change will everyone be eating in the Heart Attack Grill. So what do you sell? I sell
death and I so fun and those two happen to go hand-in-hand. This is my journey into the inner
workings of the brain and how it deals with the foods we eat every day.

I've come to America the world leader in obesity but also in cutting-edge scientific research to see
what's really going on in the brains of the millions of people like me. You in 2014 according to the
World Health Organization nearly 2 billion adults are overweight. We all know that obesity is a
worldwide epidemic and that junk foods high in fats and sugars are playing a major role yet we
continue to eat them. I don't need anybody to tell me that I'm picking the wrong food in my body but
I'll tell you what is we're in when you actually deeply think about their major sugar you're putting in
your body and what that must be doing to your brain. The average American consumes 22 teaspoons
of added sugar per day according to the World Health Organization the recommended level is no
more than 8 teaspoons. So added sugar is not the sugar you can see it's the sugar that's already in
our foods. Neuroscientist Nicole Avena has studied the extent to it sugar affects our brains. So what
type of experiments have you done here?

Most of our experiments have been done in laboratory rats and the reason why we do that is
because we're neuroscientist so we want to look at the brain and really understand on a
neurochemical level what's happening and so what we found is that if we give our rats access to
excessive amounts of sugar that they come to develop a pattern that looks very much like an
addiction to a drug and so they'll show signs of binging they'll show signs of craving they'll show
withdrawal if we take the sugar away the rats will tremor and shake and show changes in blood
pressure, yeah yeah much like what you'd see during withdrawal from morphine so again we're
seeing lots of parallels in behavior.

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Hold on a second so a rat that comes off sugar haven't benched on sugar for a while so my equivalent
of eating all the chocolate then coming off it so rat tremors.

Yes so they'll show tremor they'll show a teeth chattering which is an indication that they're anxious
and they also show signs of depression and other indicators of anxiety when we go food shopping we
fill our trolleys with loads of food that have these other sugars just look at the levels of many of the
foods in your fridge you'll see ingredients like glucose fructose sucrose maltose lactose dextrose
these are all added sugars and the coolest find that they are highly addictive when we over consume
sugar it can activate these brain reward systems that are associated with addiction and it can release
neural chemicals like dopamine and opioids the extent to which the release and the briam of sugar
same as cocaine or heroin or marijuana or whatever is it well it's activating pathways in the brain in
areas of the brain in a similar manner to what we see with drugs of abuse so then we replace the
sugars with artificial sweeteners I'm a stole count when yeah it's not it's not a good idea studies they
rush me to come sorry I wish I had better news studies are showing that artificial sweeteners actually
they can cause you to eat even more than you would have if you had the real sugar cut off even more
than if you were even more drinking the food fat as I call it the food sugar load exactly and it's
actually horse why more well we don't really know why but we know that this is actually something
that's magnified in people who are overweight or obese we know from research that you know just
tasting the artificial sweetener just our brain thinking it's real sugar or thinking it's a real sweetener is
going to activate these areas of the brain that are associated with these addiction like responses it's
scary it is many of you watching this are probably saying that I need my head examined so that's
exactly what I'm gonna do I've come to Philadelphia to have my brain looked at by dr. Jennifer Nasser
full of America's leading nutritional scientists so f near stands for functional near-infrared
spectroscopy Jennifer's experiment will look at two parts of the prefrontal cortex of my brain the
sides that control when to stop eating and the front that makes us want to eat more and more and
more what we're going to do is measure the brain activity in response to you eating so we can using
this instrument we can measure how much activity of oxygen your neurons in your prefrontal cortex
are using as you eat so we have a part on the side that houses yes to in slowed us down and inhibit
our or control our activity my mine are dead and we have a part in the middle called the medial
prefrontal cortex so that's what's telling me keep on eating kill anemia or I like this or I feel attached
to it you know if you have a big meal of at a holiday and then buy chicken pie and then grandma
brings out your favorite dessert and even if you're stuffed because grandma has made something for
everybody I'm not dead but I still eat it okay but or somebody else that you're close to yes right
where if it was somebody knocking on the door selling your cookies and you're not hungry you might
say oh thanks I've got a cupboard full I've never said that using cutting-edge infrared technology dr.
Nasir is going to track my brainwaves in real-time start on the broccoli and if you want more just let
us know we'll bring it over I quite like Brooklyn good got a whole big serving bowl for yes laughs so
I've got to eat broccoli ice cream and protein in three minute intervals to see her my brain responds
look what happens after I've started eating the broccoli my brain waves are already telling me to stop
eating okay there you go it can have as much as you want for the next three minutes in contrast
when I eat my favorite sugar filled yogurt I eat for the food three minutes and there's not a stop
signal in sight look my brains telling me to eat more next up the chicken sandwich okay go ahead we
want to give the chicken a chance to signal your brain that you've had some protein and that takes
about 15 minutes know you might be thinking at home that I've already eaten a lot so naturally I
couldn't be hungry it's not with this experiment about it's not about hunger it's about how quickly

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the brain sends out those stop signals after eating protein remember I've just eaten loads of protein
and of with it 15 minutes for to digest no will my grill act differently with more ice cream it's a man
how much how long you kept going maybe you should just bring the whole bucket in here in case oh
you got the all right the results are in okay so you ate about 112 grams of broccoli remember I said
that you could eat fillos you up a lot you ate 94 grams of yogurt before you had the chicken frozen
yogurt frozen yokai stick right and then you had about 5 ounces of chicken and we waited 15 minutes
and then you came back and you ate more yogurt and this time you only ate 62 grams so you after
the chicken you decrease the amount of yogurt that you ate by about 30% chanting go out hi chicken
drummer with Walker I'm Willem seriously though so anytime I'm being serious any time then they
might go up in the morning right and I took a lunch box of chicken and every time I see chocolate I
see chips I see burgers I have protein I have protein I give it 15 minutes oh yeah am i statistically less
likely that well statistics needs numbers you're just one person yes so we can't say you scientist also
always so careful that's a statistic but am i more than likely well we could spit it out am i more than
likely you were here so if you are consistent then you should be eating less after you eat protein than
if you eat it before so therefore if I'm sitting down to a big massive plate as I sometimes do of chicken
and french fries eat the chicken first eat the chicken first leave 15 minutes if I want the French fries
ate them of it oh dope right you know even if you're an educated person you go up through school
you learn so much about the world and life and all of that and it's taken me until I'm 41 years of age
comely America to find out from you that there are triggers in the brain that can actually help me
control my eating it's taken me 41 years to understand those go and stop signals well part of it has to
do with technology in the past 15 to 20 years who spent a lot of brain imaging studies associated
with eating behavior if at night people watching this tonight they have no excuse something like
themselves right of course I not only addicted to sugar I love junk food like in New York I'm going to
meet one of the leading scientists on how our diets affect mental health police jargon is the
president of the International Society for nutritional psychiatry when I think of junk food and the
effect it's having on my body I think of a stomach and I think I'm a heart yeah I've never thought I'm a
brain before yeah when you for example feed rats a junk food diet get really pronounced changes to
the brain areas of the brain that are highly relevant to mental disorders really yeah but it was
fascinating so what changes in the brain i quess your food in particular there's an area of the brain
called the hippocampus now the hippocampus is memory right yeah it's really critical for learning for
memory but also for mental disorders now the thing that seems to really help the hippocampus to
grow and to function is a protein called BDNF when you feed junk foods to animals it drops the level
of BDNF media Neffs like manure for the brain it grows new nerve cells in the hippocampus yeah so
felices studies clear that junk food can shrink the hippocampus one of the tell-tale signs of
depression so food and what we eat can cause depression well we think so this is what all of the
evidence that we've generated over the last five years really suggests so time and time again across
countries across cultures across age groups we see that people with better quality diets are much
less likely to have depression people with unhealthy diets lots of processed foods they're more likely
to have depression the other thing to think about is that this is not just all about weight we see that
relationship between diet quality and mental health right regardless of weight I mean you can be
overweight and healthy because you're eating healthy foods and you active you can be thin and be
really unhealthy you know that showing that time and time again I find and some of my friends laugh
at me for this but my my memory is not grit no because of my job I need to retain all of Fox I do what
my long-term memory isn't great I guess really really not I forget people's names all the time can I tell
you about a really scary study where they took a group of sedentary but otherwise healthy blokes

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and they put them on a junk food diet from one week and they found within one week the same
sorts of deficits in memory and cognition that they see in the animal models that seems to be linked
to the hippocampus after one week after one week so if you want your brain to function well you've
got to be feeding it with the right stuff if this research is right these junk foods are seriously
damaging our brains but what can we do when the junk is so readily available this is a disaster
because it's like having free drugs on every corner so people everywhere you know all over the states
where they've got massive rates of obesity they're just committing suicide by junk food drugs we
that's what they're doing so we know that even people who are highly educated who are wealthy all
across the globe they're consuming these foods it's even more common in those who are less
wealthy and less education because they have fewer resources to it be able to withstand the
marketing the passion that drives me the thing that gets me out of bed in the morning is the anger
that I feel towards the large multinational food industry that I think they're evil bastards and they're
allowed to act with impunity you're a world leaving Authority and what you do to call these people
evil bastards that's strong strong language you sure you mean it I really mean it because there is no
doubt that's so much of the huge tidal wave of ill health that the globe is experiencing is a function of
unhealthy diets and the way our diets have changed it's all the company's fault it's our fault for
eating at all their guns offering it it's my fault if you love the company a highly addictive product on
every single corner and you market it heavily and you make it really cheap and that seductive
message all the time eat we eat we eat to understand what is going on in my brain I've come to meet
a psychiatrist dr. Drew Ramsey and he's taken a revolutionary approach to treating some of his
patients instead of using drugs to change brain behavior he prescribes food breakfast Steven tell me
what time do you wake up and then what do you eat wake up about 7:00 in the mornings I
absolutely know thing for breakfast ever never never coffee never the like often tea don't like pee
once the first time you eat smoke stays about two o'clock a couple of pockets of crisps chips in your
language okay I'm poor at your clit what kind of chocolate this isn't like the dark chocolate milk
chocolate or sometimes I would have a proper meal so I would have chicken and chips steak and
chips lasagna and chips stew okay usually about seven eight o'clock at night that's when I will have
another big main three four nights a week burger and chips okay and then nine ten o'clock at night
that's when I start having maybe five or six packets of crisps but because you see every night this is
madness but every night I convinced myself I'm starting my diet tomorrow morning so therefore this
is my last binge when you look at this what do you see what do you think's missing here I see insanity
well when you write it down it's in seeing crisps chocolate ice cream fast food you know you said this
was insane I'm actually just gonna say this is your diet right you're a successful guy you know you
have some health issues but I hit people saying I'm successful because you can't be successful I love
this okay so that's a bit up here so if I'm using successful I feel like a failure hey but you said this is the
only thing you failed at in your life is food yeah but a permeates everything that goes on I would say
I'll be moving through throughout this film to get his advice well know that if he junk food it makes
you fat okay well I've learned in New York though I hadn't thought about the Association before
between that terrible food and our mental health how you feel inside how your brain chemistry is
actually working I just found that really really fascinating here Joe this is doing for me it's making me
realize how screwed up I am even at a basic level in terms of what I'm eating every single day of my
life because I've met expert after expert and I'm so far off I couldn't be harming the body more I
guess we kinda can learn what they eat to dramatically improve our lives dramatically improve our
our pleasure in life and yet quite a few of you aren't me we're feeding ourselves with poison but why
I wanted to learn more about what is actually happening inside the pleasure centers of my brain that

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make me want to feed myself with this junk professor and Manuel pothos has studied the brains of
obese people his research has discovered the dopamine receptors in obese people are significantly
less responsive and they determine reward when it comes to food palatable food or normal food is
not having the same effect in the obese in individuals in the normal weight individual the obese
individual is compelled to overeat to actually get the same sensation of reward and fullness as a
normal weight individual what percentage less release of dopamine is that the dopamine receptors
are reduced in the range between 20 and 50 percent that's actually what has been published so far
it's astonishing to me that's that's astonishing so if I'm sitting in a restaurant with someone who's
normal with ya and we're both having some ice cream and they have a small light and they say that
feels great that's lovely and I'm eating more and more and more because I'm fat and I'm releasing
50% less dopamine possibly then of course I'm gonna need more to feel as good as that than none
yes I would say that's now where is a novel explanation it kind of wait kicks in to touch this notion
that fat people are just simply greedy simply as a simply reckon themselves that their setup in life to
be more of a failure in terms of their diet than some other people who are lucky enough not to have
less dopamine release correct everybody accepts that there is a stigma associated with obesity right I
mean if you can see that in every society so I don't think we can talk about happy and lazy people
exactly or talking people who are are struggling through a very serious health problem here's a
question can fat people improve the dopamine receptors we don't have any evidence that the
dopamine system really corrects itself ever so we think this deficit is on very early in life in individuals
who are predisposed to obesity and if even if the individual is not predisposed to obesity and at some
point in their life they develop bad diet habits let's say you know I haven't seen yet an experiment
that shows that this deficit can actually be recovered but depresses me well because I've clearly got
that gene and probably about ten million of them yeah if we realize right from the get-go that it's
going to be a lifelong challenge a lifelong struggle then I think we're better prepared for it I knew all
about this lifelong struggle five years ago I made a film called dad fat and you should be warned the
next scene is disturbing you are about to see the reality of obesity Lou so I witnessed the autopsy of a
thirty stone woman all the intestine is a robot head I visited a funeral home with oversized coffins it's
noticeably why yes it is noticeably wider and I got a glimpse into my future and the future of millions
of us across the world I don't want my heart to be smaller here let's change your lifestyle I did change
this was me last year I've lost seven stone on an extreme diet I felt great about myself you and this is
me no I'm heavier than I ever was perhaps psychiatrist dr. Drew can help me understand if I'm always
doomed to feel so I lost a hundred points on these things which is essentially energy bars have a look
through some of the ingredients said that's right this is like a rice krispies treat with some fake
vitamins stuck on the isolated soy protein oh this is great this is like the most highly processed type
of protein you can have tapioca starch that sugar glucose syrup that's sugar fructose oligosaccharides
that's another way to say sugar toasted oat so that's a real ingredient then there are some nuts so so
far those oats and nuts that are good raisins which they soaked in vegetable oil vegetable oil because
I wasn't enough in there already so this is basically so far sugar almost entirely sugar and then
omega-6 fats the vegetable oil for sure are is some type of soybean oil I would guess but that's a
nutbar sin that I'm getting all the nutrients all the vitamins that I need in a day three of those were
600 calories and I lost seven still I lost 100 points do you think this is the way to health honestly but
tell me why not well there are a couple reasons why not first of all it's not a real food this isn't made
for your health this was made for a shelf life you put this down we come back in five months it's
gonna look the same I wonder if also you love this cuz you know it's gonna fail what do you mean
well you know that you're not gonna just eat these for the rest of your life you know you're gonna

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start craving your chicken pies yeah I know at some point this is gonna fail so you can love it cuz it's a
little bit of a you get some momentum it's great it's a nice period you're losing a lot of weight you're
feeling good about that but you know you're not gonna live on these so that's the psychiatrist and
you know saying well this is a question are you saying there's a self-destruct element as I know it's
gonna fail is that what you mean if this is your solution I don't have a lot of hope because I don't
think it's sustainable I don't think these sorts of gimmicks and plans and and highly processed foods
create a sustainable healthy lifestyle for people remarkably a new science could provide people like
me with hope the latest research believes that the gut is the second brain of the body and the
bacteria or microbiome that live there can send signals to the brain telling us what to eat certain
sorts of bugs like certain sorts of foods and if one sort of vibe is predominating it might be driving you
to eat that high fat food rather than that sugary fishel from their upward signaling of not the driver
seat stuff yeah but hardest heart is what's in your gut drive your width cuz it's what you put in your
mouth drives your wit yeah yeah it's really complicated we're trying to work that out but diet stress
and medications such as antibiotics they're amazing this got stuff is where we get this horrible fecal
transplants oh yeah that's unbelievably look they even have poo pills now so poo pills yeah well you
swallow poo you swallow poo in I will never be swollen poo ever so there's a very common and very
nasty condition called c-diff and that's basically when you've been given loads and loads of antibiotics
and you've just ruined your gut microbiota now first-line treatment for that is a fecal transplant when
you take fecal matter from the healthy person who who you quite literally put it in a vitamin with
some saline solution and you shove it up though that's exactly right and indeed in Europe at least one
trial at the moment is underway to look at whether if you take people who are obese and you do a
fecal transplant from people who are naturally lean know that it can help them to lose weight no no
they're now seeing whether they can use it for weight loss this is ridiculous so you you'll be gone to
your skinny fran and asking him or her for some of those food that's right but you'd want to make
sure that your skinny friend didn't have any nasty parasites but also really importantly that your
skinny friend didn't have any mental disorder cuz you may well be getting there mental disorder
along with their poop they've tried these fecal transplants and mace yeah what happen so if you give
a basically fat poo to a mouse you can make it get fat if you give skinny poo to a fat Mouse you can
make it get skinnier never have I talked so much more shit in all my life so let's find out more about
these fecal transplants unbelievably there's an actual bank in Boston where you can deposit your
own poop we collect and process fecal material that we distribute across the US and internationally
for use in fecal microbiota transplants or poop transplant you should've locked up for that shit it
seems a little weird yeah exactly people students and send that around the country this is our high-
tech job stool collection can kit this sits on your toilet stools gonna go in here the lid comes on and
then our donor is just gonna drop this off in our lab um each donor when they're dropping off a
sample is gonna fill out their identification date and time of passage and then a little bit about their
health history just so that we know that they're staying healthy we have to have extremely healthy
individuals only about three percent of people can become a stool donor to open my own would I be
a viable donor unfortunately you would not be viable donor we're very picky about what type of who
we take and one of our exclusion criteria meet big luck experts Billy one of our exclusion criteria is
body weight and particularly BMI or body mass index what about these poop pills yeah I've been
hearing about yeah actually go only in America yeah it's something we're very proud of here uh we
you know traditionally fecal transplants are done through a colonoscopy so from kind of the bum up
a little bit unpleasant for patients and so we spent a lot of work it opened by um developing poop
pills that essentially take the stool and encapsulate it in a capsule that you can swallow and actually

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passes into your digestive tract and releases the bacteria there it sounds a little gross but patients
really prefer that to having a colonoscopy so can you see a day that the same way that we go into
shops now and we buy chocolate or we buy vitamins can you see a day that will be good in their shop
and buying shit I don't know if we're quite gonna have it over-the-counter but I can imagine a day
when your doctor says hey you know we might want to think about you know rearranging your
microbiome a little bit to improve your health it's only the beginning of this groundbreaking
treatment but the results are impressive in the future we know the microbiome is linked with the
digestive system with the metabolic system with the immune system and even with your brain and
your mood and your your brain disorders and so we're excited about the possibility that we can
engineer the microbiome in the future to improve conditions even including obesity which is strongly
linked with the microbiome and you mentioned there that the microbiome can be linked to the brain
hi yes so the gut brain axis is the way that connection is referred to your body the second largest
cluster of neurons in your body is in your gut there's a vein Donegan the second largest cluster of
neurons in your body after your brain is in your gut starting to make the link between gut disorders
and the brain there's been kind of a long sort of thought that things like a gut feeling you know exist
and we're starting to learn that actually that might be a real scientific sort of issue so I find the most
intriguing thing you've said today but the second biggest mass of nerve cells yeah right here that's
right special people see me has been successful enough in the job of dude obviously the thing I'm not
successful at is food and in this city New York food is absolutely everywhere and I do wonder what's
the under breath the scientific research suggests that if you're fat and addicted to junk food your
brain is programmed to eat and drink everything that is bad for us you at MIT and Boston Professor
keitai has made a startling new discovery using laboratory mice and rats she's attached a kibble that
sends signals directly into the pleasure centers of their brains so basically what we found was that
when we recorded from these neurons these turns you know initially thought oh maybe they'll
respond to sucrose maybe a little respond to this or that actually what they respond to not not the
sucrose itself but they were responding to the learned action of seeking the sucrose and so for me I
guess I think the analogy is sometimes I get up and go to the refrigerator without actually eating
anything but I still do it and it's this habit and it's a habit associated with an action of reward seeking
that I've done many many times sure what's so interesting for me what you've just said because
when I was on a diet last year I actually thought I was going mad and I'll tell you why because I would
go to the shops and I would get some type of pleasure out of buying the crisps the chocolate the pies
all of the foods that I would have eaten but I knew it wasn't gonna eat and I couldn't understand why
I still was getting pleasure or wanted to do that you know you're explaining that's exactly what I'm
talking about it's this habit that you've done so many times and then habits can lead to compulsive
behavior this compulsion is so strong that once addicted to food some of us aren't able to stop
ourselves from seeking reward the same neural pathway lights up in our brain every time if these
neurons are encoding these habits of reward seeking if we used this tool that we have called
optogenetics to activate just these specific neurons would we be able to make the animal engage in
compulsive reward seeking compulsive sucrose seeking look at what happens to this rat when k
switch is on the reward center in its brain it seeks out the sugar now look at this if the mouse reaches
out for the sugar this time it's given an electric shock but because K is activating the reward center in
its brain its compelled to seek out the sugar anyway even if it's getting that shock amazing now let's
look at what happens when the rat is placed in an area where there is no sugar and the reward
trigger is switched on in its brain again here when we turn the light on you can see that right away
the animal starts licking the floor kind of behaving this you know frenzied manner and animal licks

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the floor looks before there's nothing in the chamber of the animal to actually eat so it's not actually
tasting anything off the floor it's not getting any stimulus because there's nothing there completely
clean floor and yet whatever way it's brilliant spins them get it it's continuing to want the liquor floor
to eat that's right and frenzy and and you'll see next the animal actually does something really
remarkable even though there's nothing there to pick up it will actually go through the motions of
pick up a non-existent object and engaging in this elaborate feeding sequence in the same way that
we see that moist licking the floor frantically if you imagine what goes on inside our imagination okay
I sometimes serve night I imagine myself licking chips licking crisps licking the salt offer I know that
signs insane but I do is there much between me imagining that and creating that fantasy and mad I'm
most licking licking that but little box of its dropped in I can definitely imagine that it's similar I mean
of course I don't know what the mouse's experience is like but that Mouse's behavior definitely
reminds me of experiences that I have had so in that way I agree with you there's nearly comical isn't
when you see that rat grasping into thin air for food well it's funny until I'm thinking is that me cuz a
dream a good food all day long whether I need it or not everywhere I go I'm thinking about it so
maybe not too much difference between those rats and some of us who are you're fat no the big
question for us are we are we inclined because of our genes are we built to be like that or we create
another ourselves through great or is it a bit of both professor Felice jakka has studied the impact of
eating junk foods when pregnant one of the really important understandings is that what mum eats
during pregnancy has an impact not just on the mental health of the offspring but on their reward
pathways so if money is lots of junk food during her pregnancy what we seem to see is that the
children are much more likely to find those foods really addictive really already primed for a little life
yes and this why we think that you get this intergenerational transmission of obesity it's not just
what food is it is at home it's the addiction that goes with it hold on a second so when women are
pregnant they're very hungry they get the munchies yeah they want to eat chocolate they they
maybe won't eat were stopped and they worry thing that can affect their child in later life yeah not
even in later life in early life so we led the first study we looked at over 20,000 mothers and their
children in Norway we looked at mums diet we looked at the kids diet and then we looked at kids
behaviors so specifically mums who had more junk and processed foods during their pregnancy the
kids had higher levels of these behaviors like Tantrums aggression kicking screaming the top-line
message is that what you eat when you're pregnant will have an impact on the brain development
and the development of the immune system in your offspring but the really key thing is what you eat
will have an influence on the early gut microbiota of your child so if your gut is not healthy your
microbiota are not healthy your baby gets an unhealthy gut microbiota profile to it and then starting
life and unhealthy start in life that we think increases their risk for a whole host of disorders such as
autism schizophrenia allergic disease heart disease all sorts of things if you were to try to stop
smoking to help your baby yes you should try to improve your diet when pregnant to help your baby
yeah I would say so most definitively I wish I'd known this when I was pregnant I'm gonna blame my
mother for everything yeah well it's a closely in the way it's the crunchies my boys made on the
children the Christmas all through history the four mothers get the blame but now you know from
the animal work we can see that mums junk food diet affects the neurotransmitter systems in the
brain the reward pathways the immune system and the off bring all of these things that we know
related to the risk for mental health problems as well as physical health problems when I think about
food I think about diet I think about losing weird everything that I can't eat but journalist for them
I've met leading scientists who say foods much more complex than that that it affects our mood our
memory in fact they've told me that it affects every cognitive function that we have you look like an

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angel walk like a ninja talk like any but I got you're the dead in the sky for a chinois America is leading
the way in an unprecedented explosion in the rates of obesity across the world well Ireland is not far
behind it's estimated that by 2030 almost half the male population of Ireland will be morbidly obese
well the store a place on earth that has the success of being is everywhere you look around here and
its food and fast quantities I keep saying I have to change my life but my brain keeps telling me to eat
and I can't stop those stop signals just are not working if I continue to eat the junk food I'm literally
gambling my life away yeah away I'm very much ready for surgery right one of these hit me I don't
there's a food company that would admit to their rule and this will be City epidemic but here in Las
Vegas at the Heart Attack Grill you can eat for free if you weigh in at more than 25 stones so
Donovan what did you two men that I came in a 362 I believe and it's like just cuz I'm a big guy right
so we can we can probably talk to each other candidly huh you're high-fiving that nurse right because
you're really fat basically yeah what'swhat's not funny man listen no it's not funny but I mean it's not
something everybody can say they are over 350 pounds and uh that's the aperture in America I guess
but um hey I get to eat free I'm not ashamed hey you wanna what's your vice a lot of a lot of fried
foods do you think you liver Crockett oh yeah but it'll take that one wake-up call from a doctor by
marketers not to wake up oh yeah Wow no I don't think 350 is too bad you got people walking
around here 400 500 pounds you know but yeah I can still walk I think I think I'm Saul right hot Thank
You Man thank you thank you okay I got that guy's in denial like you know he's been applauded for
being 360 Pines and he says okay it's not about bad I can still walk and I know better than he is this is
obesity gone mad I find this funny I don't find it funny either no one comes here and follows my
program and doesn't get exactly what I promised right I look like a heart attack right on the door I
promise you that this is bad for your health so what do you sell I so deaf and I'm so fun and those
two happen to go hand in hand I'm gonna let you have fun but I'm gonna tell you you're giving
shorten your life it's like selling the cigarette now how can I sell you a cigarette and tell you it's a
good thing please first not ah here we go now here is a small little appetizer here just put your hand
right here sir it's ridiculous it's not ridiculous it is ridiculous this is exhibits of people to watch like this
sure they do come on come on how many do customers actually eat it they actually eat it now
whether or not they finish it is an entirely different story so you're you're a clever marketing guy
clearly right so you've opened up you've opened up a restaurant and your marketing is mocking fat
people no yeah come on honestly look at this it is redic it actually makes me sing I'll tell you what
makes me even sicker but this is a type of crop that I'm putting into my body destroying myself well
and you're making money out of marketing to people like this I'm making money doing exactly what
people want wait but that's not everything they want they also want the hot dog oh yes and they
want that chili fries right there I'm the best of all the onion rings that's where the real calories are
you know when the Guinness wondered is your food actually tastes nice there you go the onions are
incredibly porous and when you cook them in lar they suck in all those calories but it's very nice
mmm well thank you the interesting thing is as you as you sit here mocking people like me because
I'm fat I make that far many calories are in this burger there was nine thousand in three calories the
which is four times what a man should be eight nurses daily alliance and not one burger something
like that you need to get a conscience I have the biggest conscience in the American food industry
and here's why there is not another restaurant in Ireland in the United States that tells you the exact
truth of what you're doing to you so I am calling yourself a doctor it's probably the sickest thing
you've done because what a doctors do they save lives what a doctor is trying to do they're trying to
reduce morbid obesity in people so that they will live longer and you put this on as part of your sick
marketing I'll show you somebody who does think what sale I'm a physician what is that this is a very

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good friend of mine the cremated remains of a gentleman who died here hit the floor ambulance
came in took a heart attack in here yeah ambulance came took him out there's no family to speak of
so these premiums and the rest of the things stayed here with us in the bar there are these men
made the choice though is the same way as the man goes into battle and deciding to die for his
country it's not funny anymore when they actually die is it no it never was funny to begin with I am
telling people that they could opt to be dead if they refuse to do what we call the food Nazis dictate
to them the advice and people are to prolong their life party avoid type 2 diabetes they're not a point
wreck in their lives they're not succeeded so are you actually a good guy who's trying to get people
to realize what they need to lose well no no do you care about fat people no not a good guy in the
least as the front of the menu will say hashtag evil doctor that is me forgive it the marketing do you
actually care do what I can do you care that people come in here and they either kill on sale I can
blurt out oh yes I care I could try to say something that makes me look better primarily first and
foremost is don't get in the way of my profit margin and no for the ultimate humiliation do I qualify
to eat for free along with all the other fat people here close but not quite 324 pounds it's
embarrassing it's humiliating it's devastating I'm I'm dying the way we've all joked about it in the past
and we've kind of whoo hoo ha ha Stephens talking about his weight again while I'm dying there you
go that's what that reading up there says and and it's self-inflicted that's the most frustrating part
about it for me it's self-inflicted I'm killing myself our place in there is he you know many people
would see it as a discrete sum game mocking mocking all of this food that makes you fat and bringing
Isis out of a gay the days how long's are gonna be until I'm in one of those bags pathetic so is there
any hope psychiatrist dr. Drew Ramsay certainly thinks there is he's arranged to meet me at his
pharmacy a farmers market in the middle of New York City I've had 41 years nine of sugar gives me
ahead carbohydrates give me ahead chocolate ah crisps they were you just said three things that are
the same between the two of us all right I love carbohydrates right sugar gives me a hit I love dark
chocolate so and I'm also 41 so I think that that whole dongsaeng we're the same age and there's
something else I told you earlier you didn't we are the same age and I know something that shocked
you I know that I have the exact same number of calories that I've spent over the last 20 years the
exact same number but do you drink the tea eat bad food yeah Pizza beer you know that stuff
sometimes dr. drew is going to prescribe a new diet of all the foods that I've hid it my entire life
foods that he says will nourish my brand again right sock you it's on ice totally fresh okay nice and
sweet oh I'm a big chick cause it makes me sick you're not gonna get sick this guy hit me this guy here
looks as if he knocked me out if I don't taste his fish literally that scallop right now mr. right this
minute don't make the don't make the young face don't owe me another happy face happy face
tropical I think it's rainy creamy actually very creamy all right now you're talking about a good brain
food meal seafood green not those won't for my brain so we're gonna get there again complete
protein b12 gonna get a big big dose of B vitamins alright so all the water left in from a green right so
Coleman yeah well it's gonna get it growing but it's a it's all basic ingredients of your brain nicely so
he's a bit weird of all the brain foods in this place Drew has a strange fascination for kill so I don't
even know what he looks like you don't know we've got two grape varietals here so uh it's like
cabbage well it is the cabbage family they're all related to cabbage you little smell right very earthy
sulfurous very herbaceous that's like stone and you you're a kale virgin yeah Mikheil virgin you've
never had kale well I'm a total verge this is gonna be your sure you have it ready - you ready - you
know cocktail cherry right now I'm ready to pop my cherry look let's just try a little these are a little
pen this is a green curly kale it's gonna taste is gonna be a little bitter to you probably yeah but I want
you to try it we'll try it here here's a little piece for you right and uh yeah Cheers no to it complex

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flavor right bitter strong rum Sokol Kannan traditional Irish dish mashed potatoes and kill you guess
don't eat that no numbers buddy all over here we think that we've been saying that kales an ancient
food eaten ancient cultures like the Irish that's not true not in Belfast I don't know you don't
celebrate national kale day definitely definitely not October the 7th there's a national fish and chip
day I understand you're the author of 50 she has a kill yeah yeah don't get rough get roughage so and
the spirit of trying to change my life I'm actually gonna try some of these healthy foods that Drew has
cooked from I bread I wanted to track kill ship left right what do you think crispy now don't do that
and do the other and that that's the whole that's the handle there we go so I'm not joking you these
tears like ready salted crests I could kiss you but actually just like it's just like ready salted crisps
didn't you sure that's the last annatto there's the green curly now see ya good this is just a little kale
salad simple kale salad this is a creamy dressing and puts garlic scapes in there a little olive oil just a
little bit of mayonnaise and then I think probably for you the most important thing is there's nothing
in there that's bad for your brain from this mayonnaise yeah but mayonnaise is eggs in a lot eggs and
olive oil but it should think you have to change you have the notion that fat is bad yes your mama's
ba your brain is about 65% fat we all come in all different shapes and sizes don't wig and by this stage
most of us know how to look after ourselves keeping ourselves safe for me cross the road looking for
bones and our body in terms of skin cancer a lot of us try to keep healthy and yet there's a new way
that we need to educate ourselves because we don't know enough and we're not thinking about it
enough and that's what we put in our mouth and heart ultimately it affects our breath next week
TrueNorth returns for a new series as we meet a man on a mission to turn his rural B&B into a
michelin-starred fine dining restaurant that's next Monday at 10:35 here on BBC one Northern
Ireland you the human brain is the most powerful organ in the body it controls our movement our
senses our thoughts it makes us who we are yet for some of us it cannot control what we eat you
have the notion that fat is bad yes your honour's bar your brain is about 65 percent fat in this film I
want to look at how food affects the brain if you want your brain to function well you've got to be
feeding it with the right stuff what happens in our brain when we eat certain types of food and why
can some of us not stop eating I don't think 3:30 is too bad you got people walking around here 400
500 pounds our scientists really planning to use poo to combat obesity they even have poo pills now
so poo pills yeah well you slowly boo you swallow poo you know we'll never be swollen food ever
hideauze what a pregnant mother eat affect the Brean of her unborn child remember that the food
that we're consuming during pregnancy is the fuel for the developing baby what are the big food
Giants doing to help this is a disaster because it's like having free drugs on every corner I think
they're evil bastards if this doesn't change will everyone be eating in the Heart Attack Grill so one of
yourself I sell death and I so fun and those two happen to go hand-in-hand this is my journey into the
inner workings of the brain and how it deals with the foods we eat every day I've come to America
the world leader in obesity but also in cutting-edge scientific research to see what's really going on in
the brains of the millions of people like me you in 2014 according to the World Health Organization
nearly 2 billion adults are overweight we all know that obesity is a worldwide epidemic and that junk
foods high in fats and sugars are playing a major role yet we continue to eat them I don't need
anybody to tell me that I'm picking the wrong food in my body but I'll tell you what is we're in when
you actually deeply think about their major sugar you're putting in your body and what that must be
doing to your brain the average American consumes 22 teaspoons of added sugar per day according
to the World Health Organization the recommended level is no more than it teaspoons so added
sugar is not the sugar you can see it's the sugar that's already in our foods neuroscientist Nicole
Avena a study the extent to it sugar affects our brains so what type of experiments have you done

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here most of our experiments have been done in laboratory rats and the reason why we do that is
because we're neuroscientist so we want to look at the brain and really understand on a
neurochemical level what's happening and so what we found is that if we give our rats access to
excessive amounts of sugar that they come to develop a pattern that looks very much like an
addiction to a drug and so they'll show signs of binging they'll show signs of craving they'll show
withdrawal if we take the sugar away the rats will tremor and shake and show changes in blood
pressure yeah yeah much like what you'd see during withdrawal from morphine so again we're
seeing lots of parallels in behavior but also in the morning so a wrap that comes off sugar having
benched on sugar for a while so my equivalent of eating all the chopped away then coming off it so
rock tremors yes so they'll show tremor they'll show a teeth chattering which is an indication that
they're anxious and they also show signs of depression and other indicators of anxiety when we go
food shopping we fill our trolleys with loads of food that have these are the sugars just look at the
levels of many of the foods in your fridge you'll see ingredients like glucose fructose sucrose maltose
lactose dextrose these are all added sugars and the coolest find that they are highly addictive when
we over consume sugar it can activate these brain reward systems that are associated with addiction
and it can release neural chemicals like dopamine and opioids the extent to which the release in the
brain with sugar salt same as cocaine or heroin or marijuana or whatever is it well it's activating
pathways in the brain in areas of the brain in a similar manner to what we see with drugs of abuse so
then we replace the sugars with artificial sweeteners I'm a stole can't win yeah it's not it's not a good
idea don't either rush me to come sorry I wish I had better news studies are showing that artificial
sweeteners actually they couldn't cause you to eat even more than you would have if you had the
real sugar clear off even more than if you were even more drinking the the food fat as I call it the
food sugar load exactly and it's actually horse why more well we don't really know why but we know
that this is actually something that's magnified in people who are overweight or obese we know from
research that you know just tasting the artificial sweetener just our brain thinking it's real sugar or
thinking it's a real sweetener is going to activate these areas of the brain that are associated with
these addiction like responses it's scary it is many of you watching this are probably saying that I
need my head examined so that's exactly what I'm gonna do I've come to Philadelphia to have my

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