Oklahoma has lost a million pounds of fat. Ian Birrell asks how – and whether declaring ‘war on obesity’ can really change a city’s infrastructure and encourage healthy living.
Written by Ian Birrell, read by Kirsten Irving, produced by Barry J Gibb
If you liked this story, we recommend listening to Brazil's billion dollar gym experiment by Ian Birrell, also available as a podcast.
"Debbie’s not alone in her enthusiasm for neuroplasticity, which is what we call the brain’s ability to change itself in response to things that happen in our environment. Claims for its benefits are widespread and startling. Half an hour on Google informs the curious browser that neuroplasticity is a “magical” scientific discovery that shows that our brains are not hard-wired like computers, as was once thought, but like “play-doh” or a “gooey butter cake”. This means that “our thoughts can change the structure and function of our brains” and that by doing certain exercises we can actually, physically increase our brain’s “strength, size and density”."
We used to believe our brains couldn't be changed. Now we believe they can - if we want it enough. But is that true? Will Storr wades through the facts and fiction.
Written by Will Storr, read by Will Storr, produced by Barry J Gibb, audio editing by Geoff Marsh
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If you liked this story, we recommend 'Can you supercharge your brain?' by Emma Young, also available as a podcast: https://mosaicscience.com/story/can-you-supercharge-your-brain