Effects Of Body Chemistry On Eating Behavior

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Erich Setele Dr. Bhavna M. Thakkar General Psychology July 26, 2011 Mesomorph, Ectomorph, Endomorph; Can You Control Your Body Type? Does body chemistry govern eating behavior? This is a classic example of the nature versus nurture debate. We have very little control over the genetic make-up of our bodies, but we do have the ability to alter our external image. A person can dye their hair, undergo plastic surgery, or tan their skin. Our bone structure is predetermined but we are able to modify our body composition by developing proper eating habits and daily physical activity. There are a number of physiological factors that occur during our bodies ultradian rhythms that influence our eating behavior. Early studies believed that the feeling of hunger was brought on by a sudden drop in blood glucose levels, but we have since learned that the fluctuation of glucose levels is very minimal and will actually return to normal with or without consuming food. New studies revealed the discovery of the hormone ghrelin. Manufactured in the stomach lining; this hormone spikes during periods of hunger, and has shown to result in binge eating during episodes of prolonged release. Neuropeptide Y is secreted by the hypothalamus during periods of negative energy balance and weight loss. These 2 hormones combine to stimulate appetite. Satiation is stimulated by an increase in the hormones leptin, insulin, and cholecystokinin. The hypothalamus strives to achieve energy balance in the body over time by monitoring these 5 neurotransmitters. The more probable factors contributing to our eating behavior is psychological. Both classical and operant conditioning comes in to play here. Just as the appearance of the bell caused Pavlov’s dog to salivate; our body has become conditioned to eat at certain times in the day. Being in the place that we normally eat or doing
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