This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
To Eat or Not to Eat Tiffany Nicole Cooper University of Phoenix Jwaundace Belcher January 21, 2011 PSY/240
TO EAT OR NOT TO EAT To Eat or Not to Eat
Hello class. My name is Nicole Cooper, and today we are going to be discussing some of the physiological factors that cause hunger and satiety, and we will also be taking a look at some of the misconceptions regarding these issues. There will be plenty of time at the end of our session today for questions so as I talk about these issues; please, be thinking about some questions that you may want to ask about this subject.
Fact and Myth:
I believe that it is very important for everyone to understand the physiological factors, and how the research is opening doorways for the scientific community. First, I want to start by talking about some common misconceptions regarding hunger and satiety. The most common belief is that hunger is caused by an empty stomach and that satiety is caused by feeling full. ³A study showed that even people who have had their stomachs removed still experience these feelings (Pinel, 2007).´ The most logical explanation for this would be that the gastrointestinal tract is the source of these feelings of satiety. A fact that I find most interesting is that ³the gastrointestinal tract and the stomach release chemicals called peptides, which can interact with the hormones and neurons in the brain. There is a well-known peptide that is solely responsible for increasing appetites in the hypothalamus´ (Pinel, 2007). This recent discovery has established an interest in the ³hypothalamus¶s´ role in hunger and satiety. An important notion to keep in mind regarding this issue is that the hypothalamus is what controls the energy metabolism and not your actual eating. A second misconception is the set-point assumption. This is when people think that hunger (or the motivation to eat) is caused by the presence of an energy deficit, and they ³view eating as the means to which the energy resources of the body are returned to their optimal level
TO EAT OR NOT TO EAT
(also known as their energy set-point.)´ (Pinel, 2007) There are either set-points or settling points and to understand those, may help with understanding weight. Everyone has a set point and just like you do not have any control over what color your eyes or hair will be, or how tall you will be. You also have no control over what your set point will be. Your body is genetically and biologically determined to weigh within a certain weight range. Set points vary for each individual person. That is why it is not a good idea for people to go by the weight charts that one may see in medical books or hanging in your doctor's office. It is more of a discussion you and your doctor need to have. Just as your metabolism will slow down when you go under your body's set point, it will also increase if you go above it. The body will try to fight against the weight gain by increasing the metabolism and raising the body's temperature to try and burn off the unwanted calories. The settling point theory refers to the idea that weight tends to drift around the level at which the constellation of factors that determine food consumption and energy expenditure achieve an equilibrium. The third misconception that we are going to talk about is how hunger and satiety is that our blood glucose levels affect our hunger and satiety. ³Research tells us that this is very much untrue. Glucose levels remain fairly stable and do not fluctuate very often´ (Pinel, 2007). This theory is referred to as the ³glucostatic theory´. The lipostatic theory is another set-point theory that says ³every person has a set point for body fat, and deviations from this set point produce compensatory adjustments in the level of eating that return the levels of body fat to their set points.´ (Pinel, 2007).
Patient Question and Answer:
Now, we are going to open the floor for discussion.
TO EAT OR NOT TO EAT 1. Lindsey asked: ³My parents were both obese, is that why I am?´ Although a genetic link to obesity is strongly accepted, only about 40% of the obesity factors do not guarantee that a child will be obese. Obesity is more common in certain families; but how much of it could be considered from their lifestyles? Families tend to have similar activity levels in which may account for their similarities in body weight, and they also have common eating habits. It does seem likely that there are cases of obesity caused by genetics. To further support the idea that genes play a role, researchers recently identified a chromosomal abnormality that greatly increases a person's risk of becoming overweight or obese.
2. Robert asked: ³My girlfriend and I eat together all of the time, so we eat the same food and amounts of food, but she never gains weight like I do. Why is that?´ Well Robert, while you and your girlfriend eat the same foods, and the same amounts, you both still have very different metabolisms. You both have different genetic factors and most likely, you both have different exercise levels. So you cannot really base your idea on the fact that you both eat the same things, and the same amount. You have many more things that need to be factored in. 3. Nancy asked: ³My mom says that I became anorexic because I¶ve been reading too many Cosmo magazines and want to look like those girls. Maybe I did, but I really just don¶t crave food. What do you think it is?´ Well, Nancy, the effects of serotonin in our bodies can prevent us from eating if they are too low. There is also another hormone known as norepinephrine; and this too, can reduce your desire for food, even if your body is in need. This hormone is not only a hormone, but it is a neurotransmitter as well. As a hormone, it is secreted by the adrenal gland and it works with epinephrine and adrenaline to give the body sudden energy in times of stress. This is known as
TO EAT OR NOT TO EAT the ³flight or fight´ response.
4. Tyra asked: ³I don¶t eat because every time I do, I just feel sick! Do you know why this is?´ I¶m glad you asked this question. I have problems with feeling sick when I am trying to eat. My brain knows that I need to eat, and I know I have to, but when I do, it just makes me sick. I found out that there are many reasons for this type of reaction to eating. You could have a type of gastro intestinal disorder. I recommend that you should go and see a Gastroenterologist, and they would be able to find out more for you. If this is the case, your disease may be completely manageable through medication and a special diet. But if the Gastroenterologist does a complete medical check and finds nothing medically wrong with you, it may be more of a psychological problem. At that time I would recommend that you see a counselor or professional on the subject. It may be something more like anorexia, and in which case, medicine does not help. The only thing that will help in that case, is talking to a professional that knows what they are talking about.
Well, now that I have talked to you all about the different physiological factors, and common misconceptions about physiological myths about hunger and satiety and those physiological factors that do contribute to hunger and satiety, let me leave you with a few things to consider. You have all come here today making the first step to recovery by coming here. There are things in our lives that we can control, and things that we cannot control. If you ever need help, it is always there, and there is always someone for you to talk to. I only hope that I provided some basic knowledge to help you on your journey to recovery and contentment.
TO EAT OR NOT TO EAT
Pinel, J. P. J. (2009). Biopsychology. Boston, MA: Pearson. Axia College¶s Writing Style Handbook