Appetite is in the brain, scientists reveal

It is generally assumed that your appetite is driven by the stomach, but Scientists have revealed that the main instigator of “hunger” is actually the brain.  This is key to understanding how we can manage our food intake and control our weight.

Victor Zammit, professor of metabolic biochemistry at Warwick Medical School, said: “Two systems bring on appetite.  A long-term system measures how fat we are… while a short-term system tells us how long since we last ate, measured by the contents of the stomach, intestines and colon.”

The feeling of hunger is actually caused by the brain triggering the release of a hormone called ghrelin, which tell you that you need to eat something.

Unfortunately, the problem is understanding when to stop eating.  The intestine, colon and pancreas register the food we consume and then produce ”anti-appetite” hormones that alert the brain when to stop eating.  The feeling of fullness usually generated in the brain is a response not to food volume but nutrients, which underlines how important a good quality of diet is.  

Unfortunately, some people do have stronger “fullness” signals than others so find it easier to stay slim. 

In addition, larger portion sizes and visible availability of food also increase your appetite – if it’s there, you are more likely to eat it.  So the best thing to do is put food where you can’t see it (get rid of the biscuit barrel!) serve yourself smaller portions and throw away leftovers immediately.

Those looking for a weight loss solution may consider weight loss surgery as an option. 

The Hospital Group is the UK’s leading provider of weight loss surgery.

CEO, David Ross said: “Gastric band surgery is effective as it alters appetite signals in the body, so rather than  making people feel fuller it reduces their hunger as the gastric band puts pressure on the vagus nerve, reducing appetite signals sent from the gut to the brain.

Gastric bypass surgery — where the gut is shortened — also works by reducing hunger as food reaches the intestine faster where anti-hunger hormones are released so patients feel full sooner.

The gastric band is the most popular option as it is a simple keyhole procedure, taking around half an hour under general anaesthetic.  Recovery is quick and the band is adjustable so that weight loss can be managed in the long term for safe, effective results. 

However, for morbidly obese patients with significant amounts of weight to lose, the gastric bypass may be recommended as it offers higher rates of weight loss.”

The Hospital Group has 20+ clinics around the UK and Ireland, offering consultations with a medical expert.  The bariatric surgeons are highly trained specialists and expert in their field, performing literally thousands of procedures each year and can provide expert clinical advice on weight loss surgery with no obligation to proceed.


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Appetite is in the brain, scientists reveal
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