the binge-eating files » Appetite & Hunger

Appetite & hunger-related articles and research linked to binge-eating, food addiction, obesity and weight

Researchers identify the link between memory and appetite in the human brain to explain obesity   ScienceDaily (Aug 30, 2023) – Disrupted connections between memory and appetite regulating brain circuits are directly proportional to body mass index (BMI), notably in patients who suffer from disordered or overeating that can lead to obesity, such as binge eating disorder (BED), according to new research. The research notes that individuals who are obese have impaired connections between the dorsolateral hippocampus (dlHPC) and the lateral hypothalamus (LH), which may impact their ability to control or regulate emotional responses when anticipating rewarding meals or treats. … more

Are you really you when you’re hungry?  ScienceDaily (Jun 11, 2018) – Hunger can lead to anger, but it’s more complicated than a drop in blood sugar, study says. What makes someone go from simply being hungry to full-on ‘hangry’? More than just a simple drop in blood sugar, this combination of hunger and anger may be a complicated emotional response involving an interplay of biology, personality and environmental cues … more.

Hunger may increase as the pounds decrease. Here are tactics to tame it. Washington Post (Apr 2, 2018) by Jae Berman – When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s easy to assume that as the number on the scale goes down, other issues associated with weight will be resolved. For example, if weight gain was due to overeating, as it often is, it’s understandable to expect that hunger and cravings would decrease along with pounds. A small but interesting study tells a different story. … more

Why you’re still hungry: 6 obstacles to healthy eating   Washington Post (Jan 23, 2018)  by Carrie Dennett – “Why am I constantly hungry?” is a question I hear from many of my patients. At best, constant hunger is annoying and distracting; at worst, it’s a sign that something’s amiss. Either way, the mental wrestling can make it hard to trust the messages your body is sending you. Assuming that you’re eating regularly throughout the day, there are several possible explanations why hunger might be a constant companion. … more

Why reducing sleep makes you hungry  BBC (May 11, 2017) by Dr. Michael Mosley — … But what really surprised me, while making the Truth about Sleep for BBC One, was discovering how much a bad night’s sleep can affect blood sugar control and hunger, even in healthy volunteers. … more

Appetite-controlling brain circuits in mice may explain stress eating  MNT Medical News Today (Mar 22, 2017) by Ana Sandoiu –  Stress can have a serious impact on our appetite and eating patterns. Using a mouse model, new research examines how the brain controls the appetite, as well as the link between appetite and positive and negative emotions. … more

Weight Loss Bumps Up Appetite More Than Threefold  Medscape Medical News (Nov 4, 2016) by Marlene Busko — For every kg of weight they lost, patients in a new study consumed an extra 100 calories a day — more than three times what they would need to maintain the lower weight. This out-of-proportion increase in appetite when patients lost a small amount of weight “may explain why long-term maintenance of reduced body weight is so difficult,” said lead research David Polidori, MD, of Janssen Research & Development, in San Diego, California, and colleagues. … more

Overeating may cause more eating by cutting off fullness signal  MNT Medical News Today (June 16, 2016) by Catharine Paddock – Overeating can lead to more eating, setting up a vicious cycle that promotes obesity. Now, a new study suggests one way this cycle works is that when the gut senses too many calories, it shuts off a hormone that tells the brain we are full. The new study suggests that when we eat too many calories, our gut stops producing a hormone that tells the brain we are full. In the journal Nutrition & Diabetes, researchers at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, describe how they came to this conclusion after observing mice on high-calorie diets. … more

Appetite controlled by brain enzyme, researchers find  MNT Medical News Today (Mar 18, 2016) by Yvette Brazier – Scientists have discovered a new kind of nerve cell that appears to tell mice when it is time to stop eating. They hope that the findings, published in the journal Science, could shed new light on how the brain controls food intake and pave the way for new strategies to reduce obesity. … more

Sleep loss boosts hunger, unhealthy food choices   ScienceDaily  (Feb 29, 2016) – Cutting  back on sleep boosts levels of a chemical signal that can enhance the pleasure of eating snack foods and increase caloric intake, report investigators. It may be part of a mechanism that encourages overeating, leading to weight gain, they say. … more

Multitasking hunger neurons also control compulsive behaviors   ScienceDaily (Mar 6, 2015)  — In the absence of food, neurons that normally control appetite initiate complex, repetitive behaviors seen in obsessive-compulsive disorder, and anorexia nervosa, according to a new study.   more …

Excess weight linked to brain changes that may relate to memory, emotions, and appetite   ScienceDaily (Feb 11, 2014) – Being overweight appears related to reduced levels of a molecule that reflects brain cell health in the hippocampus, a part of the brain involved in memory, learning, and emotions, and likely also involved in appetite control, according to a new study.  More

Scientists: Obese have higher levels of ‘hunger hormone’ in their blood   NBC News.com (July 15, 2013) by Ben Hirschler Reuters – Scientists  have unraveled how a gene long associated with obesity makes people fat by triggering increased hunger, opening up potential new ways to fight a growing global health problem.  A common variation in the FTO gene affects one in six of the population, making them 70 percent more likely to become obese – but until now experts did not know why.    more

Lack of sleep may trigger the ‘munchies’ by raising levels of an appetite stimulant   MNT Medical News Today (June 18, 2013) –  Insufficient sleep may contribute to weight gain and obesity by raising levels of a substance in the body that is a natural appetite stimulant, a new study finds. The results were presented today at The Endocrine Society’s 95th Annual Meeting in San Francisco.   The researchers found that when healthy, lean, young adults received only 4.5 hours of sleep a night, they had higher daytime circulating, or blood, levels of a molecule that controls the pleasurable aspects of eating, compared with when they slept 8.5 hours.   Link

Discovery in neuroscience could help re-wire appetite control    ScienceDaily (Apr. 5, 2013) — Researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have made a discovery in neuroscience that could offer a long-lasting solution to eating disorders such as obesity.  It was previously thought that the nerve cells in the brain associated with appetite regulation were generated entirely during an embryo’s development in the womb and therefore their numbers were fixed for life.  But research published today in the Journal of Neuroscience has identified a population of stem cells capable of generating new appetite-regulating neurons in the brains of young and adult rodents.    Link

Appetite suppression pills: Good or bad?   ScienceDaily (Mar. 8, 2013) — New products are released each year promising to help buyers suppress their appetite to lose weight, but these over-the-counter concoctions may not be as effective as more natural approaches.  Link

Protein moored to hunger also implicated in alcoholism    ScienceDaily (Sep. 14, 2012) — Researchers at The Scripps Research Institute have found new mores between a protein that controls our urge to eat and brain cells involved in the development of alcoholism. The discovery points to new possibilities for designing drugs to treat alcoholism and other addictions.  The new study, published online ahead of print by the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, focuses on the peptide ghrelin, which is known to stimulate eating.   more

How a single gene mutation leads to uncontrolled obesity  ScienceDaily (Mar. 18, 2012) — Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center have revealed how a mutation in a single gene is responsible for the inability of neurons to effectively pass along appetite suppressing signals from the body to the right place in the brain. What results is obesity caused by a voracious appetite. Their study, published March 18th on Nature Medicine’s website, suggests there might be a way to stimulate expression of that gene to treat obesity caused by uncontrolled eating.  Link

Appetite accomplice: Ghrelin receptor alters dopamine signaling  ScienceDaily (Jan. 25, 2012) — New research reveals a fascinating and unexpected molecular partnership within the brain neurons that regulate appetite. The study, published by Cell Press in the January 26 issue of the journal Neuron, resolves a paradox regarding a receptor without its hormone and may lead to more specific therapeutic interventions for obesity and disorders of dopamine signaling.  Ghrelin is an appetite-stimulating hormone produced by the stomach. Although the ghrelin receptor (GHSR1a) is broadly distributed in the brain, ghrelin itself is nearly undetectable there. This intriguing paradox was investigated by Dr. Roy G. Smith, Dr. Andras Kern, and colleagues from The Scripps Research Institute in Florida.  Link

Could obesity change the brain? NPR’s Health Blog: Shots (Dec.28, 2011) by Nancy Shute – The standard advice for losing weight often comes up short for people who are obese. If they switch to a healthful diet and exercise more, they might lose a bit. But the pounds have a way of creeping back on. Now some provocative research suggests that a part of the problem might be that obesity could change the area of the brain that helps control appetite and body weight.   Link

Free radicals crucial to suppressing appetite    ScienceDaily (Aug. 29, 2011) — Obesity is growing at alarming rates worldwide, and the biggest culprit is overeating. In a study of brain circuits that control hunger and satiety, Yale School of Medicine researchers have found that molecular mechanisms controlling free radicals — molecules tied to aging and tissue damage — are at the heart of increased appetite in diet-induced obesity.  Link

Salt appetite is linked to drug addiction, research finds   ScienceDaily (July 29, 2011) — A team of Duke University Medical Center and Australian scientists has found that addictive drugs may have hijacked the same nerve cells and connections in the brain that serve a powerful, ancient instinct: the appetite for salt.  Link

What Your Cravings Are Trying to Tell You   CBC (Jan 25, 2011) with Steven and Chris — We all get food cravings from time to time, but if you’re fighting off cravings on a daily basis, you need to arm yourself with the right foods! Nutritionist Peggy Kotsopoulos is here to tell us what constant cravings mean!  … more

Drink water to curb weight gain? clinical trial confirms effectiveness of simple appetite control method  ScienceDaily (Aug. 23, 2010) — Has the long-sought magic potion in society’s “battle with the bulge” finally arrived? An appetite-control agent that requires no prescription, has no common side effects, and costs almost nothing? Scientists report results of a new clinical trial confirming that just two 8-ounce glasses of the stuff, taken before meals, enables people to shed pounds. The weight-loss elixir, they told the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), is ordinary water.  Link

Intestinal bacteria drive obesity and metabolic disease in immune-altered mice  ScienceDaily (Mar. 8, 2010) — Increased appetite and insulin resistance can be transferred from one mouse to another via intestinal bacteria, according to research being published online by Science magazine.  The finding strengthens the case that intestinal bacteria can contribute to human obesity and metabolic disease, since previous research has shown that intestinal bacterial populations differ between obese and lean humans.  Link

Scientists identify stomach’s timekeepers of hunger    ScienceDaily (Aug. 31, 2009) — New York collaborators at Columbia and Rockefeller Universities have identified cells in the stomach that time the release of a hormone that makes animals anticipate food and eat even when they are not hungry. The finding, which has implications for the treatment of obesity, marks a landmark in the decades-long search for the timekeepers of hunger. The work reveals what the stomach “tells” the brain.   more

How the food makers captured our brains  New York Times: Well (June 22, 2009) by Tara Parker-Pope – Ashead of the Food and Drug Administration, Dr. David A. Kessler served two presidents and battled Congress and Big Tobacco. But the Harvard-educated pediatrician discovered he was helpless against the forces of a chocolate chip cookie…The result of Dr. Kessler’s quest is a fascinating new book, “The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite” (Rodale).   Link

Fatty foods — not empty stomach — fire up hunger hormone  ScienceDaily (June 8, 2009) — New research led by the University of Cincinnati (UC) suggests that the hunger hormone ghrelin is activated by fats from the foods we eat—not those made in the body—in order to optimize nutrient metabolism and promote the storage of body fat.  The findings, the study’s author says, turn the current model about ghrelin on its head and point to a novel stomach enzyme (GOAT) responsible for the ghrelin activation process that could be targeted in future treatments for metabolic diseases.  more

Dietary fats trigger long-term memory formation  ScienceDaily (May 3, 2009) — Having strong memories of that rich, delicious dessert you ate last night? If so, you shouldn’t feel like a glutton. It’s only natural.  UC Irvine researchers have found that eating fat-rich foods triggers the formation of long-term memories of that activity. The study adds to their recent work linking dietary fats to appetite control and may herald new approaches for treating obesity and other eating disorders.  Link

Human brains make their own ‘marijuana’  ScienceDaily (Apr. 20, 2009) — U.S. and Brazilian scientists have discovered that the brain manufactures proteins that act like marijuana at specific receptors in the brain itself. This discovery may lead to new marijuana-like drugs for managing pain, stimulating appetite, and preventing marijuana abuse.  Link

Study: Men’s brains fight food urges better  cnn.com: Health (Jan. 19, 2009) by Anne Harding —PET scans of brains of 23 people were observed, while they looked at favorite foods.   Women’s brain activity didn’t change when asked to suppress desire.  Men showed less activation in brain involved in emotional regulation and motivation.  Men may have better tools for appetite control.  Link

Brain enzyme may play key role in controlling appetite and weight gain  ScienceDaily (Dec. 16, 2008) — Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have found that overactivity of a brain enzyme may play a role in preventing weight gain and obesity. The findings were reported in Cell MetabolismLink

How a single gene mutation leads to uncontrolled obesity  ScienceDaily (Mar. 18, 2012) — Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center have revealed how a mutation in a single gene is responsible for the inability of neurons to effectively pass along appetite suppressing signals from the body to the right place in the brain. What results is obesity caused by a voracious appetite. Their study, published March 18th on Nature Medicine’s website, suggests there might be a way to stimulate expression of that gene to treat obesity caused by uncontrolled eating.  Link

Appetite accomplice: Ghrelin receptor alters dopamine signalling   ScienceDaily (Jan. 25, 2012) — New research reveals a fascinating and unexpected molecular partnership within the brain neurons that regulate appetite. The study, published by Cell Press in the January 26 issue of the journal Neuron, resolves a paradox regarding a receptor without its hormone and may lead to more specific therapeutic interventions for obesity and disorders of dopamine signaling.  Ghrelin is an appetite-stimulating hormone produced by the stomach. Although the ghrelin receptor (GHSR1a) is broadly distributed in the brain, ghrelin itself is nearly undetectable there. This intriguing paradox was investigated by Dr. Roy G. Smith, Dr. Andras Kern, and colleagues from The Scripps Research Institute in Florida.  Link

Could obesity change the brain?  NPR’s Health Blog: Shots (Dec.28, 2011) by Nancy Shute – The standard advice for losing weight often comes up short for people who are obese. If they switch to a healthful diet and exercise more, they might lose a bit. But the pounds have a way of creeping back on. Now some provocative research suggests that a part of the problem might be that obesity could change the area of the brain that helps control appetite and body weight.   Link

Free radicals crucial to suppressing appetite   ScienceDaily (Aug. 29, 2011) — Obesity is growing at alarming rates worldwide, and the biggest culprit is overeating. In a study of brain circuits that control hunger and satiety, Yale School of Medicine researchers have found that molecular mechanisms controlling free radicals — molecules tied to aging and tissue damage — are at the heart of increased appetite in diet-induced obesity.  Link

Salt appetite is linked to drug addiction, research finds    ScienceDaily (July 29, 2011) — A team of Duke University Medical Center and Australian scientists has found that addictive drugs may have hijacked the same nerve cells and connections in the brain that serve a powerful, ancient instinct: the appetite for salt.  Link

What Your Cravings Are Trying to Tell You   CBC (Jan 25, 2011) with Steven and Chris — We all get food cravings from time to time, but if you’re fighting off cravings on a daily basis, you need to arm yourself with the right foods! Nutritionist Peggy Kotsopoulos is here to tell us what constant cravings mean!  … more

Drink water to curb weight gain? clinical trial confirms effectiveness of simple appetite control method  ScienceDaily (Aug. 23, 2010) — Has the long-sought magic potion in society’s “battle with the bulge” finally arrived? An appetite-control agent that requires no prescription, has no common side effects, and costs almost nothing? Scientists report results of a new clinical trial confirming that just two 8-ounce glasses of the stuff, taken before meals, enables people to shed pounds. The weight-loss elixir, they told the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), is ordinary water.  Link

Intestinal bacteria drive obesity and metabolic disease in immune-altered mice  ScienceDaily (Mar. 8, 2010) — Increased appetite and insulin resistance can be transferred from one mouse to another via intestinal bacteria, according to research being published online by Science magazine.  The finding strengthens the case that intestinal bacteria can contribute to human obesity and metabolic disease, since previous research has shown that intestinal bacterial populations differ between obese and lean humans.  Link

How the food makers captured our brains  New York Times: Well (June 22, 2009) by Tara Parker-Pope – As  head of the Food and Drug Administration, Dr. David A. Kessler served two presidents and battled Congress and Big Tobacco. But the Harvard-educated pediatrician discovered he was helpless against the forces of a chocolate chip cookie…The result of Dr. Kessler’s quest is a fascinating new book, “The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite” (Rodale).    Link

Dietary fats trigger long-term memory formation  ScienceDaily (May 3, 2009) — Having strong memories of that rich, delicious dessert you ate last night? If so, you shouldn’t feel like a glutton. It’s only natural.  UC Irvine researchers have found that eating fat-rich foods triggers the formation of long-term memories of that activity. The study adds to their recent work linking dietary fats to appetite control and may herald new approaches for treating obesity and other eating disorders.  Link

Human brains make their own ‘marijuana’  ScienceDaily (Apr. 20, 2009) — U.S. and Brazilian scientists have discovered that the brain manufactures proteins that act like marijuana at specific receptors in the brain itself. This discovery may lead to new marijuana-like drugs for managing pain, stimulating appetite, and preventing marijuana abuse.  Link

Study: Men’s brains fight food urges better   cnn.com: Health (Jan. 19, 2009) by Anne Harding — PET scans of brains of 23 people were observed, while they looked at favorite foods.   Women’s brain activity didn’t change when asked to suppress desire.  Men showed less activation in brain involved in emotional regulation and motivation.  Men may have better tools for appetite control.  Link

Brain enzyme may play key role in controlling appetite and weight gain  ScienceDaily (Dec. 16, 2008) — Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have found that overactivity of a brain enzyme may play a role in preventing weight gain and obesity. The findings were reported in Cell MetabolismLink

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.