Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pleasure eating triggers body's reward system and may stimulate overeating

Date:
May 3, 2012
Source:
Endocrine Society
Summary:
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. The phenomenon ultimately affects body mass and may be a factor in the continuing rise of obesity.

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.

Related Articles


"'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."

In this study, researchers assessed eight satiated healthy adults, aged 21-33 years, feeding them each their personal favorite food and, later, a less-palatable food of equal caloric and nutrient value. Researchers periodically measured 2-AG and ghrelin levels. The plasma levels of ghrelin and 2-AG increased during hedonic eating, with the favorite foods, but not with non-hedonic eating. This increase suggests an activation of the chemical reward system, which overrides the body's signal that enough has been eaten to restore energy.

"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."

Other researchers working on the study include: Pasquale Scognamiglio, Alessio Maria Monteleone, Benedetta Canestrelli, and Mario Maj of the University of Naples SUN, Naples, Italy; and Fabiana Piscitelli and Vincenzo Di Marzo of the Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry, Pozzuli, Italy.

The article, "Hedonic eating is associated with increased peripheral levels of ghrelin and the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol in healthy humans. A pilot study," appears in the June 2012 issue of JCEM.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Endocrine Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. P. Monteleone, F. Piscitelli, P. Scognamiglio, A. M. Monteleone, B. Canestrelli, V. Di Marzo, M. Maj. Hedonic Eating Is Associated with Increased Peripheral Levels of Ghrelin and the Endocannabinoid 2-Arachidonoyl-Glycerol in Healthy Humans: A Pilot Study. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2012; DOI: 10.1210/jc.2011-3018

Cite This Page:

Endocrine Society. "Pleasure eating triggers body's reward system and may stimulate overeating." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120503103446.htm>.
Endocrine Society. (2012, May 3). Pleasure eating triggers body's reward system and may stimulate overeating. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120503103446.htm
Endocrine Society. "Pleasure eating triggers body's reward system and may stimulate overeating." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120503103446.htm (accessed March 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

Newsy (Mar. 1, 2015) Margaret Duffy of the University of Missouri talks about her study on the social network and the envy and depression that Facebook use can cause. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Foods to Battle Stress

The Best Foods to Battle Stress

Buzz60 (Feb. 26, 2015) If you&apos;re dealing with anxiety, there are a few foods that can help. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has the best foods to tame stress. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Newsy (Feb. 26, 2015) People who sleep more than eight hours per night are 45 percent more likely to have a stroke, according to a University of Cambridge study. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Reuters - News Video Online (Feb. 25, 2015) Washington&apos;s mayor says the District of Columbia will move forward with marijuana legalization, despite pushback from Congress. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins