What are the physical factors in the control of appetite?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Recent studies have shown a positive correlation between energy expenditure (EE), energy intake (EI) and energy balance (EB). R. James Stubbs, et al, have shown in a 2004 study published in American Society for Clinical Nutrition that a sedentary lifestyle does not lead to reduction in food and drink consumption, in EI, and results in a positive increase of stored calories, an increase EB, that results in increased weight. Katarina T. Borer, Ph.D., has identified that the human appetite controllers ghrelin and leptin, reportedly material in appetite control and/or suppression, respond to energy availability in terms of energy intake minus energy expenditure equalling available energy balance: EI - EE = EB --> effectiveness in operation of ghrelin and leptin. Imbalances (nonhomeostatic characteristics) relevant to activity levels fail to inhibit the homeostatic function of ghrelin and leptin in the brain's homeostatic control system that spans from the "hypothalamus to the caudal medulla" (H. Berthoud in Obesity 2006).

Nonhomeostatic characteristics of appetite and spontaneous activity stem from inhibition by leptin and ghrelin of brain reward circuit that is responsive to energy deficit. (Katarina T. Borer, Ph.D.)

Thus, according to recent studies in the wake of the present obesity epidemic, the physical factors of appetite control are, on the one hand, the homeostatic factors in the brain reward circuit of ghrelin and leptin and, on the other hand, energy expenditure (EE), energy intake (EI) and the resultant energy balance (EB), which increases as weight gain when EE decreases because EI remains unchanged.

sid-sarfraz | Student

First of all you should know that appetite and hunger both are different. 

When you are hungry your body needs food.

But in appetite, you will want something to eat while your body doesn't need it. 

The part of brain that controls our appetite is known as hypothalamus. 

Physical factors that control appetite are as follows:-

  • Empty Stomach
  • Gastric Contractions
  • Absence of nutrients in small intestine
  • Ghrelin (Increases hunger, is made in the stomach that takes the message of hunger to hypothalamus)
  • Leptin (Decreases hunger, created by adipose tissue and secreted in the circulatory system)
  • Endorphins (Enhances the desire for food, neurotransmitters produced by pituitary glands and hypothalamus)
  • Dopamine
  • Cognitive influences (includes eating habits or to keep eating due to various reasons)