Home > NewsRelease > The Mystery of Specific Hungers Goes on in Diet Research
The Mystery of Specific Hungers Goes on in Diet Research
Dr. Patricia A. Farrell -- Psychologist Dr. Patricia A. Farrell -- Psychologist
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Tenafly, NJ
Thursday, May 23, 2024


Our body’s need for specific nutrients or advertising may control what we eat, but how can we be sure which it is?

Photo by Austin Moncada on Unsplash

Why do we eat what we eat? Have we been trained to eat certain foods, or have we developed a carefully–constructed addiction to preferring specific foods, such as those that are highly processed? All of these are of interest to researchers involved in weight management and nutrition.

When a specific sense of hunger is compared to hunger, it refers to the body's requirement for particular nutrients or food items. Various research studies have shown that different hungers can significantly affect both mood and weight management.

Some individuals may attribute their cravings to a preference for sweets, poor eating patterns, or a lack of willpower. While these factors hold some truth, desires are influenced by factors working in tandem, including brain signals, habitual behaviors, and proximity to food. Some research cites gender differences.

Studies suggest that certain foods that trigger the brain's reward centers shape our choices and consumption habits. When we consume these foods, neurons in the brain's reward area become highly active, leading to feelings of pleasure that drive us to seek more of these foods.

These types of foods can be so satisfying because they trigger reactions, in the body that influence both metabolic and stress hormones. These hormones then tune into the brain's motivational pathways, leading to a desire to keep eating. The reward circuit is set in motion.

Moreover, factors like stress, trauma, and changes in metabolism can affect the brain's ability to control impulses and emotions that regulate weight. These factors play a role in influencing eating habits and the likelihood of developing obesity. All of this is involved in a complex interlocking relationship that is not totally under voluntary control.

However, new research may provide additional help to those needing improved food selection choices. It’s called intuitive eating. An emerging IE health promotion framework has shown promise in helping people avoid and deal with disordered eating (DE). One study added to the previous research by looking at the viability and early effectiveness of a 5-week IE intervention called “Your Body is Your Home,” which would be given in school classes to 11–13-year-olds who are newly adolescents.

The results show that a short IE intervention in the classroom is possible and acceptable for both the students and the teachers; goals for memory, fidelity, and attendance were met.

Also, early results show that IE interventions for early adolescents may be a way to improve some parts of IE in both male and female participants, as well as body appreciation in male participants. This is especially important since previous research has shown an apparent difference between males and females regarding food and obesity, but there is a paucity of evidence in males on this topic.

By teaching dissonance and mindfulness-based selective eating disorder prevention programs to students in schools, teachers can provide them with the independence required for success in real-world scenarios. these programs provide a new and highly important role for teachers that is not confined to the usual topics of study.

Pioneering the development of mindfulness and dissonance-based resources for teachers to use with students of all genders in different settings is a significant breakthrough. Implementing these interventions proved workable and well received, resulting in greater impacts on crucial risk factors associated with eating disorders than initially expected.

As evidenced in research over the past several decades, weight management, obesity, and food selection remain topics of interest to researchers and vital to everyone. Health is the issue, and we all must remember that as we go through our day and select foods for the day.

Website: www.drfarrell.net

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Medium page: https://medium.com/@drpatfarrell

Twitter: @drpatfarrell

Attribution of this material is appreciated.

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Dr. Patricia A. Farrell, Ph.D.
Title: Licensed Psychologist
Group: Dr. Patricia A. Farrell, Ph.D., LLC
Dateline: Tenafly, NJ United States
Cell Phone: 201-417-1827
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