Hedonic hunger

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Hedonic hunger or hedonic hyperphagia is "the drive to eat to obtain pleasure in the absence of an energy deficit."[1] Particular foods may have a high "hedonic rating"[2] or individuals may have increased susceptibility to environmental food cues.[3] Weight loss programs may aim to control or to compensate for hedonic hunger. Therapeutic interventions may influence hedonic eating behavior.[4]

Background[edit]

Although hunger may arise from energy or nutrient deficits, as would expected in the set-point theories of hunger and eating, hunger may arise more commonly from anticipated pleasure of eating, consistent with the positive-incentive perspective.[3][5][6] Gramlich distinguished the overeating responses to these stimuli as homeostatic hyperphagia and hedonic hyperphagia respectively.[7] Accordingly, hunger and eating are subject to feedback control from homeostatic, hedonic, and cognitive processes.[8] Although these mechanisms interplay and overlap to some extent,[3][8] they can nonetheless be individually separated.[8][9] Thus, the positive-incentive perspective suggests that eating is similar to sexual behavior: humans engage in sexual behavior, not because of an internal deficit, but because they have evolved in a way that makes them crave it. High calorie foods have had intrinsic reward value throughout evolution.[10][11] The presence of desirable (or "hedonic") food, or the mere anticipation of it, makes one hungry.[12] The psychological effects of hedonic hunger may be the appetitive equivalent of hedonically-driven activities such as recreational drug use and compulsive gambling.[3][13][14] Susceptibility to food cues can lead to overeating in a society of readily available calorie dense, inexpensive foods.[1] Such hedonistic eating overrides the body's ability to regulate consumption with satiety.[15]

A related phenomenon, specific appetite, also known as specific hunger, is conceptually related to, but distinct from, hedonic hunger. Specific appetite is a drive to eat foods with specific flavors or other characteristics: in usage, specific appetite has put greater emphasis on an individual who adaptationally learns a particular appetite behavior rather than an evolutionarily innate, hedonic appetite preference.

Food variability[edit]

A "hedonic rating" of foods reflects those which are more likely to be eaten even though the individual is not hungry.[9][16][17] For example, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanning suggests that fed rats show a high preference for a mixture of fat and carbohydrate in the form of potato chips compared to their standard chow or single macronutrient foods.[18] When binge eating occurs without the presence of energy deprivation, it is thought to be due to frequent exposure to palatable food.[1] Another study evaluated how hedonic ratings of individual foods aggregate into the food components of particular types of meals, and related preferences to overall dietary intake.[19]

Interpersonal variability[edit]

Individuals may have increased hedonic hunger susceptibility to environmental food cues.[2] Genetic variability may influence hedonic hyperphagia.[9][15] Variation in hedonic hunger levels from person to person may be key in determining success in weight loss tactics and a person's ability to cope with tempting foods that are readily available. To assess this, a Power of Food Scale (PFS) has been developed that quantifies a person's appetitive anticipation (not consumption).[1][3][20][21] Binge-eaters, obese individuals and those with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa scored higher than restrictive type and normal weight college students.[1] A decrease in PFS score leads to better success in weight loss.[2]

Food reinforcement[edit]

The reinforcing value of food refers to how hard someone is willing to work to obtain food.[22] Food reinforcement is influenced by several factors including food palatability, food deprivation and food variety. The effector mechanisms of food reinforcement depend on dopaminergic activity in the brain.[22]

Treatment[edit]

Conceptually, weight loss programs might target control of hedonic hunger.[9] Specific research to determine what diet techniques would be most beneficial for those with an increased hedonic hunger would help people modify their immediate availability of food or its palatability.[3] For example, whole grain popcorn may be a better choice than potato chips due to a lower calorie load and an increased sense of satiety.[23] Adding dietary fiber to foods and beverages increases satiety and reduces energy intake at the next meal.[24] Low-energy-density foods with high satiating power may be useful tools for weight management.[25] Satiety has been found to be greater with yogurt beverages than fruit juice, and was equal with low-energy-density yogurt with inulin and high-energy-density yogurt.[25] People with high PFS scores may do better with meal replacement products.[2][26]

Medications may affect hedonic eating behavior. Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP1) agonists, such as exenatide and liraglutide which are used for diabetes, may help suppress food reward behavior.[4] Inhibition of dopamine transport within the brain increases dopamine concentrations, which can reduce energy intake.[22] Despite theoretical underpinnings, opiate antagonists as single agents have generally not shown substantial clinical benefit.[15][27][28] However, preliminary data has suggested synergistic effects with concurrent targeted therapy of opiate receptors and either dopamine or cannabinoid receptors.[15]

Bariatric surgery of various types may influence hedonic hunger[29][30][31] particularly if accompanied by counseling interventions that reduce automatic hedonic impulses.[32] These surgeries may work in part by modifying the production of gastrointestinal hormones, particularly by increasing glucagon-like peptide-1 and peptide YY (PYY);[29][33] reduction of ghrelin has been inconsistent.[29]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  3. ^ a b c d e f Lowe, MR; Butryn, ML (Jul 24, 2007). "Hedonic hunger: a new dimension of appetite?". Physiology & behavior 91 (4): 432–9. doi:10.1016/j.physbeh.2007.04.006. PMID 17531274. 
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  11. ^ Van Schooten, WC; Ottenhoff, TH; Klatser, PR; Thole, J; De Vries, RR; Kolk, AH (Jun 1988). "T cell epitopes on the 36K and 65K Mycobacterium leprae antigens defined by human T cell clones.". European Journal of Immunology 18 (6): 849–54. doi:10.1002/eji.1830180604. PMID 2454825. 
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  13. ^ Haskins, SC; Klide, AM (Mar 1992). "Anesthesia for very old patients.". The Veterinary clinics of North America. Small animal practice 22 (2): 467–9. PMID 1585606. 
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  30. ^ Ullrich, J; Ernst, B; Wilms, B; Thurnheer, M; Hallschmid, M; Schultes, B (2013). "The hedonic drive to consume palatable foods appears to be lower in gastric band carriers than in severely obese patients who have not undergone a bariatric surgery". Obesity surgery 23 (4): 474–9. doi:10.1007/s11695-012-0818-6. PMID 23179243.  edit
  31. ^ Ullrich, J; Ernst, B; Wilms, B; Thurnheer, M; Schultes, B (2013). "Roux-en Y gastric bypass surgery reduces hedonic hunger and improves dietary habits in severely obese subjects". Obesity surgery 23 (1): 50–5. doi:10.1007/s11695-012-0754-5. PMID 22941334.  edit
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