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Faulty brain circuit may be to blame for overeating

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LOS ANGELES — Eating when you’re not hungry — especially high-calorie, high-fat foods — may not always rise to the newly broadened clinical definition of an eating disorder. But the behavior that for many Americans is a routine pastime certainly contributes to excess weight gain, with its implications for health. And it is considered “disordered eating” by most mental health professionals.

A study published Thursday in the journal Science adds to evidence that binge eating — and overeating generally — may have a biological basis. The new research, conducted on mice, suggests a target in the brain that drug developers should consider in exploring treatments for such disordered eating.

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