What is the definition of satiety?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

“Satiety” is defined as the sensation of being full following the consumption of food.  A tiny marble-size gland in the middle of the brain, the hypothalamus, or, more specifically, the arcuate nucleus, which resides inside the hypothalamus, controls appetite.  Within the digestive system is produced the hormone ghrelin which stimulates hunger, while fat cells produce leptin, which produces the sensation of satiety.  Both of these hormones flow to the brain, and if any part of this complex system goes awry, an eating disorder resulting in obesity can occur.  Absent the sensation of satiety, an individual will feel the need to eat despite having already consumed sufficient caloric intake to otherwise satisfy an individual of that particular size and weight.  The digestive system produces additional hormones that directly affect appetite, such as cholecystokinin and a peptide known as GLP-1, the proper balance of which is necessary to provide the individual with an accurate assessment of his or her need for food.  A failure to feel satiated following the consumption of a quantity of food commensurate with the needs of the individual will lead to overeating, so physicians who accurately identify the cause of an eating disorder may prescribe medications and dietary changes designed to stimulate the production of certain hormones or, conversely, to suppress secretions of others.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial