Chevy Chase, MD—When eating is motivated by pleasure, rather than hunger, endogenous rewarding chemical signals are activated which can lead to overeating, according to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM). The phenomenon ultimately affects body mass and may be a factor in the continuing rise of obesity.
“‘Hedonic hunger’ refers to the desire to eat for pleasure, and to enjoy the taste, rather than to restore the body’s energy needs,”says Palmiero Monteleone, MD, of the University of Naples SUN in Italy and lead author of this study. “For example, desiring and eating a piece of cake even after a satiating meal is consumption driven by pleasure and not by energy deprivation. The physiological process underlying hedonic eating is not fully understood, but it is likely that endogenous substances regulating reward mechanisms like the hormone ghrelin and chemical compounds such as 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) are involved.”
“Hedonic hunger may powerfully stimulate overeating in an environment where highly palatable foods are omnipresent, and contribute to the surge in obesity,”says Monteleone. “Understanding the physiological mechanisms underlying this eating behaviour may shed some light on the obesity epidemic. Further research should confirm and extend our results to patients with obesity or with other eating disorders in order to better understand the phenomenon of hedonic eating.”
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* Note: There is a counter-healthy eating ‘movement’/trend occurring, seemingly primarily among white males that is seen live on YouTube. Such notable people such as Furious Pete and Epic Meal Time. Where they essentially (and very intentionally) take all of the “tastiest” and and most unhealthiest food and eat them. But not only do they eat them, but they eat them simultaneously as quickly as possible. Oh yea – in as large of an amount as possible.
Take this clip from Furious Pete clip below where he weighs and bakes 5 lbs of bacon, mixes it with what looks like half a bottle of alcohol, milk and ice cream. Puts it into a large blender and drinks it all the way down straight from the blender itself live on camera as proof he actually finished it all.