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How is feeding regulated There are many different explanations and theories to answer this question To be able to answer this we must look at Homeostasis Homeostasis refers to the bodys tendency to maintain a relatively constant state that permits cells to live and function It requires mechanisms for both detecting the state of the system and correcting the situation to restore the system to the desired state Western 2002 p348 What makes us eat or feel we need to eat Energy reserves become depleted and the person becomes hungry and eats Western 2002 p349 People tend to eat because they believe that they have no food inside them no energy to keep them going However is this true Do we eat because we are empty There are many ways to describe why we eat when we do Firstly we will look at the biological factors Although most people think they become hungry because their stomachs are empty glucose probably plays the most important role in producing feelings of hunger Even people who have had their stomachs removed have reported feelings of huger In humans subjective sensations of hunger increase as glucose levels decrease Western 2002 p350 So from this we can now predispose that maybe our feelings of hunger our feeding regulation is in fact linked to glucose levels in the blood stream The level of glucose begins to drop Before these levels drop too far the liver takes action drawing some glycogen out of storage and converting it to glucose Blood glucose levels bounce back to normal It does not indicate that energy account is empty but that the organism is drawing on its reserves making it a good time to make a deposit therefore eat The brain itself contains cells sensitive to glucose levels in the blood the hypothalamus The lateral hypothalamus does in fact play a central role in the initiation of eating The neurotransmitter found in this region is called
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