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Regulation Of Food Intake In Obese People: Little Evidence For An Antiobesity Drug

1144 words - 5 pages

Regulation of Food Intake in Obese People

WHAT IS OBESITY?

The most common eating disorder in our society is excessive eating which includes craving and compulsive eating which can quite often result in obesity (http://www.nutramed.com/zeno/addictive.htm#exorphins). Obesity is a body condition where a person's body mass index is greater than 30. Other diseases that can accompany or follow obesity include diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Also, obese people are at a greater risk of certain kinds of cancer like breast, colon, and uterine cancer. Nori Geary, an associate professor of psychiatry at Cornell University, did a great deal of work on the physiological control of feeding behavior (http://www.med.cornell.edu/rasp/gdir/geary.html).

Some people respond well to proper diet and exercise to overcome obesity. For those who do not, however, antiobesity drugs are gaining popularity in pharmaceutical compnaies. One potential antiobesity drug that was recently developed by scientists in France and England is butabindide. This drug works to regulate appetite by breaking down a neurotransmitter that signals satiety. This drug has not yet been administered to humans, but its development may provide information to help with the development of other antiobesity drugs in the future (Jack 1756).

FEEDBACK MECHANISMS AND FAT INTAKE

A number of biological and psychological factors are involved to consolidate energy intake, expenditure, and storage to satisfy specific biological or biophysiological processes. The degree to which these processes control eating behavior is regulated by sensors in the gastrointestinal tract, the liver, and the brain which all work to control this system through a process of positive and negative feedback system. Many forces, such as the taste of the food and the surrounding atmosphere, control the amount of food eaten. The receptors in the gastrointestinal tract manage the size and times of eating behavior while metabolic cues oversee energy consumption with respect to what the body needs. Overeating causes a greater amount of fat storage than did carbohydrate overfeeding. Studies of the appetites of obese women prove that energy intake during a high-fat lunch was much higher than during a high-carbohydrate lunch and this remained for the next 24 hours. The reason that has been hypothesized for this is that the metabolic rates of fats and carbos are different. Carbohydrates are more rapidly absorbed and contribute to the suppression of appetite. Fat storage, on the other hand, is almost without limit with a lower satiety calibre. Carbohydrate storage in the body, in the form of glycogen, is limited, and need to be constantly refilled. Obesity is a disorder that is related to a "disease" of the fat storage mechanisms and if a person is obese, there will be a presence of lipids already in the small intestine that delay the emptying of gastric fluids. These fatty acids in the stomach relax the stomach...

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