Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

04-Regulating Food Intake

March 28, 2021

Mechanisms for regulating food intake are still not clearly understood. That the hypothalamus in the diencephalon of the brain plays a part in these mechanisms, however, seems certain. There appears to be both an appetite center that promotes the feeling of hunger and a satiety center that promotes the feeling that we are satisfied or “full” in the hypothalamus. The balance of activity between these two centers appears to be the central mechanism that regulates food intake.
There are many factors that influence these hypothalamic centers and therefore influence the regulation of food intake. Among the many factors identified in affecting appetite are hormones, neurotransmitters, emotions, environmental cues, food sensations, habits, and more. Some examples of factors that affect the appetite-regulating centers of the hypothalamus are listed in Table 19-5. It is not important to memorize all these factors, but reading through them will help you understand the complexity of our body’s regulation of food intake.