Obesity and mobile phone usage have simultaneously spread worldwide. Radio frequency-modulated electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs) emitted by mobile phones are largely absorbed by the head of the user, influence cerebral glucose metabolism, and modulate neuronal excitability. Body weight adjustment, in turn, is one of the main brain functions as food intake behavior and appetite perception underlie hypothalamic regulation. Against this background, we questioned if mobile phone radiation and food intake may be related. In a single-blind, sham-controlled, randomized crossover comparison, 15 normal-weight young men (23.47 ± 0.68 years) were exposed to 25 min of RF-EMFs emitted by two different mobile phone types vs. sham radiation under fasting conditions. Spontaneous food intake was assessed by an ad libitum standard buffet test and cerebral energy homeostasis was monitored by ³¹phosphorus-magnetic resonance spectroscopy measurements. Exposure to both mobile phones strikingly increased overall caloric intake by 22–27% compared with the sham condition. Differential analyses of macronutrient ingestion revealed that higher calorie consumption was mainly due to enhanced carbohydrate intake. Measurements of the cerebral energy content, i.e., adenosine triphosphate and phosphocreatine ratios to inorganic phosphate, displayed an increase upon mobile phone radiation. Our results identify RF-EMFs as a potential contributing factor to overeating, which underlies the obesity epidemic. Beyond that, the observed RF-EMFs-induced alterations of the brain energy homeostasis may put our data into a broader context because a balanced brain energy homeostasis is of fundamental importance for all brain functions. Potential disturbances by electromagnetic fields may therefore exert some generalized neurobiological effects, which are not yet foreseeable.
mobile phone | radio frequency-modulated electromagnetic fields | brain | food intake | body weight