Overeating: A Summary And Analysis

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Paul Kenny constructed an experiment to find out how people become obese. Instead of humans, he used rats as the test subjects. The rats ate less healthy food and more high-calorie junk food. They gained weight and became obese. Usually, when the rats would eat the healthy bland food, Kenny would give a slight foot shock when to stop eating. After feeling the shock they would run away, now that the rats are obese they ignore the slight shock and continue to eat the food. This reminded Kenny of a similar trial by Barry Everitt, except his rats got addicted to cocaine. Many scientists find similar behaviors in different people. Most obese humans want to eat less, but continue to overeat. Overeating gives confidence to our mental reward systems. …show more content…
According to Kenny, "Medications that dial down the reward system could help obese people to eat less." Douglass Coleman and Jeffrey Freedman were the first to have a change in opinion about obesity. They ran experiments with two different breeds of mice both genetically prone to obesity and diabetes. One breed had a defect in fat cells that would produce and discharge leptin, a hormone. The other breed had a defect to their ability to respond to leptin and structure its actions. Leptin is important because mice and humans use this hormone to prevent overeating after a meal. The observations say that seeing obesity as a hormonal disorder is too superficial. Obese humans have a high amount of leptin and insulin. These hormones affect pathways of neurons in hypothalamus and systems in the brain that control the reward system. During times of hunger, the activity in the striatum heighten. The striatum contains high levels of chemicals that increase the pleasure and reward feelings, endorphins. Your stomach releases hormones which decrease signals coming from the striatum and the reward system as you eat. This makes food seem less …show more content…
Again obesity sound disturbingly similar to a drug addiction. In other words, obesity is a very powerful motivation to fulfill the pleasure/reward centers of the brain. Obesity and addiction should be treated the same way. Obesity should be added to the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-5. This is the basically the bible for physiology, it gives the guidelines for diagnosing mental illnesses. The DSM-5 decided to drop the idea because they did not want obese people being called mentally ill. The is a unique component that drives food addiction. The mixture of sugar and fats with high-calorie content looks as if it will increase sensations of overeating. Although some people still believe that obesity is a choice and not an addiction, most people still see the similarities between obesity and drug use. For example not being able to control the consumption of intake. Pharmacist created the drugs Belviq and Rimonabant to decrease the desire to eat, but they have both caused depression and rimonabant were linked to suicidal thoughts. They were later removed from the markets. Scientists are trying to prove that obesity is like an addiction, they are studying what specific cell adaptation the brain uses that leads to extreme

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