Do dopaminergic impairments underlie physical inactivity in people with obesity?

Alexxai V. Kravitz, Timothy J. O’Neal, Danielle M. Friend

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Obesity is associated with physical inactivity, which exacerbates the negative health consequences of obesity. Despite a wide consensus that people with obesity should exercise more, there are few effective methods for increasing physical activity in people with obesity. This lack is reflected in our limited understanding of the cellular and molecular causes of physical inactivity in obesity. We hypothesize that impairments in dopamine signaling contribute to physical inactivity in people with obesity, as in classic movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. Here, we reviewtwo lines of evidence supporting this hypothesis: (1) chronic exposure to obesogenic diets has been linked to impairments in dopamine synthesis, release, and receptor function, particularly in the striatum, and (2) striatal dopamine is necessary for the proper control of movement. Identifying the biological determinants of physical inactivity may lead to more effective strategies for increasing physical activity in people with obesity, as well as improve our understanding of why it is difficult for people with obesity to alter their levels of physical activity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number514
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Volume10
Issue numberOCT2016
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 14 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Dopamine
  • Exercise
  • Movement disorders
  • Obesity
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Physical activity
  • Physical activity promotion

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