Favorite food trumps satiety

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Hunger hormone switches off the feeling of satiety in your favorite dish

Who does not know that, many continue to eat pizza, spaghetti or schnitzel, even though they have long been full. Many people simply cannot stop eating their favorite food. Scientists at the University of Naples have now succeeded in clarifying the connection.

According to a current food survey, pizza, pasta, schnitzel and roulades are among the favorite dishes of the Germans. Many can never get enough of it and sometimes eat until they get abdominal pain. "If there are roulades, I simply can't stop eating", reports Steffen W. Most people are familiar with this phenomenon and eat until they get sick.

Eat to the point of nausea
In the history of evolution, it has always been an unsolved mystery why people can overeat when they taste extraordinarily good. One consequence of this is being overweight because more calories are added to the body than it actually needs. But why only humans have this problem and animals don't? Animals stop eating when they have eaten enough. They seem to have a "feed brake" that tells them it's enough. A brake that people apparently lack at their favorite food.

In humans, researchers also call “eating about hunger” “hedonistic hunger”. Hedonism is the unbridled indulgence of a certain pleasure. The consumption of food is not only used to cover daily calorie needs, but also to "satisfy the desire and pleasure".

In spite of all the abundance and an approaching feeling of satiety, man is obviously greedy. An Italian research team from the University of Naples / Italy has now investigated this fact. The team led by study leader Palmiero Monteleone published its results for the first time in the journal "Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism".

Hunger hormone turns off satiety
Exactly eight young people aged 21 years took part in the study. All subjects previously mentioned their favorite dishes and dishes that they particularly liked. In the first round, the participants were given their favorite food. They could eat as much as they wanted. In the second run, you should eat the not particularly liked food on another day. A blood sample was taken from the study participants before, after and during the meal. In the laboratory, the researchers examined the concentration of the hunger hormone ghrelin contained in the blood.

Based on the samples and observations, the psychologists and doctors wanted to find out how the unbridled hunger arises. What context turns normal hunger for survival into an instinct for pleasure, which leads people to "overeat"? The solution to the puzzle is probably very simple. When people think of their favorite recipes or eat them, the concentration of hunger hormone in the blood increases massively. The excessive release of the hormone simply outweighs the natural feeling of satiety, it turns off almost completely. It is only when the nausea warning mechanism sets in that most people stop eating their favorite food.

Mechanism discovered for obesity
The study results could provide further clues to the problem of obesity. If the hormone release of ghrelin were stopped, many people could be saved from the health risk of being overweight. In order to secure the findings, however, further, larger-scale studies are required, as the researchers emphasize. (sb)

Read on:
Study: No feeling of satiety at the favorite meal
Anyone who sees food gets an appetite
High fat food damages the liver
Unhealthy nutrition damages the brain

Image: Helene Souza / pixelio.de

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