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Eating Disorders, Obesity Determined by Brain Responses

Eating Disorders, Obesity Determined by Brain Responses

How the brain responds to food can determine anorexia, obesity, new research says

Study shows that the brain reacts differently to food in people with eating disorders.

The phrase "brains are wired differently" may actually apply to how people respond to food, says new research. A study now finds that the brain reacts differently to food for someone with an eating disorder versus someone who is obese.

From the University of Kansas, researchers took MRI images and looked at the reward and pleasure areas in the brain of people who suffered from anorexia nervosa, obesity, and Prader-Willi syndrome (a genetic disorder that causes extreme obesity). When researchers showed pictures of food to those with anorexia, the reward areas in their brains showed significantly less activation. On the flip side, those suffering from obesity and the Prader-Willi syndrome had overactive responses to pictures of food. How does it work? Says Kyle Simmons of the Laureate Institute, when you see a picture of food, you automatically gather information about how you think it will taste and how that will make you feel. The region in the brain that this happens is the insula, or the "primary gustatory cortex."

What's interesting is that the reward area in the chronic overeaters' brains reacted similarly to those who struggle with addiction, says researcher Laura Martin. This could affect further studies into obesity and anorexia, two diseases associated with heart disease, diabetes, and even death.


Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are relatively common occurrences in wealthy, industrialized countries, affecting up to 2 percent of women and approximately 0.8 percent of men. They are characterized by a persistent disturbance of eating patterns that leads to poor physical and/or psychological health. The major eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, pica, and rumination disorder.

Eating is an activity essential to survival, and the body has many built-in mechanisms that regulate appetite and eating. Eating patterns are normally influenced by many factors, environmental as well as biological, and cultural too. The causes of eating disorders are multiply influenced and complex.

Disordered eating patterns can be caused by feelings of distress or concern about body shape or weight, and they harm normal body composition and function. A person with an eating disorder may have started out just eating smaller or larger amounts of food than usual, but at some point, the urge to eat less or more can spiral out of control and the maladaptive patterns of eating take on a life of their own.

Given the complexity of eating disorders, considerable scientific research has been conducted in an effort to understand them, yet the biological, behavioral, and social underpinnings of the illnesses remain elusive. Eating disorders frequently develop during adolescence or early adulthood, but onset during childhood or later in adulthood is not unknown. Many adolescents are able to hide disordered eating behaviors from their family for months or years.

Nevertheless, eating disorders are treatable illnesses. Eating disorders frequently occur together with other psychiatric illnesses, such as depression, substance abuse, or anxiety disorders. In addition, people who suffer from eating disorders can experience a wide range of physical health complications, including serious heart conditions and kidney failure, which may lead to death. The recognition of eating disorders as real and treatable diseases is critically important.


Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are relatively common occurrences in wealthy, industrialized countries, affecting up to 2 percent of women and approximately 0.8 percent of men. They are characterized by a persistent disturbance of eating patterns that leads to poor physical and/or psychological health. The major eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, pica, and rumination disorder.

Eating is an activity essential to survival, and the body has many built-in mechanisms that regulate appetite and eating. Eating patterns are normally influenced by many factors, environmental as well as biological, and cultural too. The causes of eating disorders are multiply influenced and complex.

Disordered eating patterns can be caused by feelings of distress or concern about body shape or weight, and they harm normal body composition and function. A person with an eating disorder may have started out just eating smaller or larger amounts of food than usual, but at some point, the urge to eat less or more can spiral out of control and the maladaptive patterns of eating take on a life of their own.

Given the complexity of eating disorders, considerable scientific research has been conducted in an effort to understand them, yet the biological, behavioral, and social underpinnings of the illnesses remain elusive. Eating disorders frequently develop during adolescence or early adulthood, but onset during childhood or later in adulthood is not unknown. Many adolescents are able to hide disordered eating behaviors from their family for months or years.

Nevertheless, eating disorders are treatable illnesses. Eating disorders frequently occur together with other psychiatric illnesses, such as depression, substance abuse, or anxiety disorders. In addition, people who suffer from eating disorders can experience a wide range of physical health complications, including serious heart conditions and kidney failure, which may lead to death. The recognition of eating disorders as real and treatable diseases is critically important.


Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are relatively common occurrences in wealthy, industrialized countries, affecting up to 2 percent of women and approximately 0.8 percent of men. They are characterized by a persistent disturbance of eating patterns that leads to poor physical and/or psychological health. The major eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, pica, and rumination disorder.

Eating is an activity essential to survival, and the body has many built-in mechanisms that regulate appetite and eating. Eating patterns are normally influenced by many factors, environmental as well as biological, and cultural too. The causes of eating disorders are multiply influenced and complex.

Disordered eating patterns can be caused by feelings of distress or concern about body shape or weight, and they harm normal body composition and function. A person with an eating disorder may have started out just eating smaller or larger amounts of food than usual, but at some point, the urge to eat less or more can spiral out of control and the maladaptive patterns of eating take on a life of their own.

Given the complexity of eating disorders, considerable scientific research has been conducted in an effort to understand them, yet the biological, behavioral, and social underpinnings of the illnesses remain elusive. Eating disorders frequently develop during adolescence or early adulthood, but onset during childhood or later in adulthood is not unknown. Many adolescents are able to hide disordered eating behaviors from their family for months or years.

Nevertheless, eating disorders are treatable illnesses. Eating disorders frequently occur together with other psychiatric illnesses, such as depression, substance abuse, or anxiety disorders. In addition, people who suffer from eating disorders can experience a wide range of physical health complications, including serious heart conditions and kidney failure, which may lead to death. The recognition of eating disorders as real and treatable diseases is critically important.


Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are relatively common occurrences in wealthy, industrialized countries, affecting up to 2 percent of women and approximately 0.8 percent of men. They are characterized by a persistent disturbance of eating patterns that leads to poor physical and/or psychological health. The major eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, pica, and rumination disorder.

Eating is an activity essential to survival, and the body has many built-in mechanisms that regulate appetite and eating. Eating patterns are normally influenced by many factors, environmental as well as biological, and cultural too. The causes of eating disorders are multiply influenced and complex.

Disordered eating patterns can be caused by feelings of distress or concern about body shape or weight, and they harm normal body composition and function. A person with an eating disorder may have started out just eating smaller or larger amounts of food than usual, but at some point, the urge to eat less or more can spiral out of control and the maladaptive patterns of eating take on a life of their own.

Given the complexity of eating disorders, considerable scientific research has been conducted in an effort to understand them, yet the biological, behavioral, and social underpinnings of the illnesses remain elusive. Eating disorders frequently develop during adolescence or early adulthood, but onset during childhood or later in adulthood is not unknown. Many adolescents are able to hide disordered eating behaviors from their family for months or years.

Nevertheless, eating disorders are treatable illnesses. Eating disorders frequently occur together with other psychiatric illnesses, such as depression, substance abuse, or anxiety disorders. In addition, people who suffer from eating disorders can experience a wide range of physical health complications, including serious heart conditions and kidney failure, which may lead to death. The recognition of eating disorders as real and treatable diseases is critically important.


Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are relatively common occurrences in wealthy, industrialized countries, affecting up to 2 percent of women and approximately 0.8 percent of men. They are characterized by a persistent disturbance of eating patterns that leads to poor physical and/or psychological health. The major eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, pica, and rumination disorder.

Eating is an activity essential to survival, and the body has many built-in mechanisms that regulate appetite and eating. Eating patterns are normally influenced by many factors, environmental as well as biological, and cultural too. The causes of eating disorders are multiply influenced and complex.

Disordered eating patterns can be caused by feelings of distress or concern about body shape or weight, and they harm normal body composition and function. A person with an eating disorder may have started out just eating smaller or larger amounts of food than usual, but at some point, the urge to eat less or more can spiral out of control and the maladaptive patterns of eating take on a life of their own.

Given the complexity of eating disorders, considerable scientific research has been conducted in an effort to understand them, yet the biological, behavioral, and social underpinnings of the illnesses remain elusive. Eating disorders frequently develop during adolescence or early adulthood, but onset during childhood or later in adulthood is not unknown. Many adolescents are able to hide disordered eating behaviors from their family for months or years.

Nevertheless, eating disorders are treatable illnesses. Eating disorders frequently occur together with other psychiatric illnesses, such as depression, substance abuse, or anxiety disorders. In addition, people who suffer from eating disorders can experience a wide range of physical health complications, including serious heart conditions and kidney failure, which may lead to death. The recognition of eating disorders as real and treatable diseases is critically important.


Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are relatively common occurrences in wealthy, industrialized countries, affecting up to 2 percent of women and approximately 0.8 percent of men. They are characterized by a persistent disturbance of eating patterns that leads to poor physical and/or psychological health. The major eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, pica, and rumination disorder.

Eating is an activity essential to survival, and the body has many built-in mechanisms that regulate appetite and eating. Eating patterns are normally influenced by many factors, environmental as well as biological, and cultural too. The causes of eating disorders are multiply influenced and complex.

Disordered eating patterns can be caused by feelings of distress or concern about body shape or weight, and they harm normal body composition and function. A person with an eating disorder may have started out just eating smaller or larger amounts of food than usual, but at some point, the urge to eat less or more can spiral out of control and the maladaptive patterns of eating take on a life of their own.

Given the complexity of eating disorders, considerable scientific research has been conducted in an effort to understand them, yet the biological, behavioral, and social underpinnings of the illnesses remain elusive. Eating disorders frequently develop during adolescence or early adulthood, but onset during childhood or later in adulthood is not unknown. Many adolescents are able to hide disordered eating behaviors from their family for months or years.

Nevertheless, eating disorders are treatable illnesses. Eating disorders frequently occur together with other psychiatric illnesses, such as depression, substance abuse, or anxiety disorders. In addition, people who suffer from eating disorders can experience a wide range of physical health complications, including serious heart conditions and kidney failure, which may lead to death. The recognition of eating disorders as real and treatable diseases is critically important.


Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are relatively common occurrences in wealthy, industrialized countries, affecting up to 2 percent of women and approximately 0.8 percent of men. They are characterized by a persistent disturbance of eating patterns that leads to poor physical and/or psychological health. The major eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, pica, and rumination disorder.

Eating is an activity essential to survival, and the body has many built-in mechanisms that regulate appetite and eating. Eating patterns are normally influenced by many factors, environmental as well as biological, and cultural too. The causes of eating disorders are multiply influenced and complex.

Disordered eating patterns can be caused by feelings of distress or concern about body shape or weight, and they harm normal body composition and function. A person with an eating disorder may have started out just eating smaller or larger amounts of food than usual, but at some point, the urge to eat less or more can spiral out of control and the maladaptive patterns of eating take on a life of their own.

Given the complexity of eating disorders, considerable scientific research has been conducted in an effort to understand them, yet the biological, behavioral, and social underpinnings of the illnesses remain elusive. Eating disorders frequently develop during adolescence or early adulthood, but onset during childhood or later in adulthood is not unknown. Many adolescents are able to hide disordered eating behaviors from their family for months or years.

Nevertheless, eating disorders are treatable illnesses. Eating disorders frequently occur together with other psychiatric illnesses, such as depression, substance abuse, or anxiety disorders. In addition, people who suffer from eating disorders can experience a wide range of physical health complications, including serious heart conditions and kidney failure, which may lead to death. The recognition of eating disorders as real and treatable diseases is critically important.


Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are relatively common occurrences in wealthy, industrialized countries, affecting up to 2 percent of women and approximately 0.8 percent of men. They are characterized by a persistent disturbance of eating patterns that leads to poor physical and/or psychological health. The major eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, pica, and rumination disorder.

Eating is an activity essential to survival, and the body has many built-in mechanisms that regulate appetite and eating. Eating patterns are normally influenced by many factors, environmental as well as biological, and cultural too. The causes of eating disorders are multiply influenced and complex.

Disordered eating patterns can be caused by feelings of distress or concern about body shape or weight, and they harm normal body composition and function. A person with an eating disorder may have started out just eating smaller or larger amounts of food than usual, but at some point, the urge to eat less or more can spiral out of control and the maladaptive patterns of eating take on a life of their own.

Given the complexity of eating disorders, considerable scientific research has been conducted in an effort to understand them, yet the biological, behavioral, and social underpinnings of the illnesses remain elusive. Eating disorders frequently develop during adolescence or early adulthood, but onset during childhood or later in adulthood is not unknown. Many adolescents are able to hide disordered eating behaviors from their family for months or years.

Nevertheless, eating disorders are treatable illnesses. Eating disorders frequently occur together with other psychiatric illnesses, such as depression, substance abuse, or anxiety disorders. In addition, people who suffer from eating disorders can experience a wide range of physical health complications, including serious heart conditions and kidney failure, which may lead to death. The recognition of eating disorders as real and treatable diseases is critically important.


Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are relatively common occurrences in wealthy, industrialized countries, affecting up to 2 percent of women and approximately 0.8 percent of men. They are characterized by a persistent disturbance of eating patterns that leads to poor physical and/or psychological health. The major eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, pica, and rumination disorder.

Eating is an activity essential to survival, and the body has many built-in mechanisms that regulate appetite and eating. Eating patterns are normally influenced by many factors, environmental as well as biological, and cultural too. The causes of eating disorders are multiply influenced and complex.

Disordered eating patterns can be caused by feelings of distress or concern about body shape or weight, and they harm normal body composition and function. A person with an eating disorder may have started out just eating smaller or larger amounts of food than usual, but at some point, the urge to eat less or more can spiral out of control and the maladaptive patterns of eating take on a life of their own.

Given the complexity of eating disorders, considerable scientific research has been conducted in an effort to understand them, yet the biological, behavioral, and social underpinnings of the illnesses remain elusive. Eating disorders frequently develop during adolescence or early adulthood, but onset during childhood or later in adulthood is not unknown. Many adolescents are able to hide disordered eating behaviors from their family for months or years.

Nevertheless, eating disorders are treatable illnesses. Eating disorders frequently occur together with other psychiatric illnesses, such as depression, substance abuse, or anxiety disorders. In addition, people who suffer from eating disorders can experience a wide range of physical health complications, including serious heart conditions and kidney failure, which may lead to death. The recognition of eating disorders as real and treatable diseases is critically important.


Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are relatively common occurrences in wealthy, industrialized countries, affecting up to 2 percent of women and approximately 0.8 percent of men. They are characterized by a persistent disturbance of eating patterns that leads to poor physical and/or psychological health. The major eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, pica, and rumination disorder.

Eating is an activity essential to survival, and the body has many built-in mechanisms that regulate appetite and eating. Eating patterns are normally influenced by many factors, environmental as well as biological, and cultural too. The causes of eating disorders are multiply influenced and complex.

Disordered eating patterns can be caused by feelings of distress or concern about body shape or weight, and they harm normal body composition and function. A person with an eating disorder may have started out just eating smaller or larger amounts of food than usual, but at some point, the urge to eat less or more can spiral out of control and the maladaptive patterns of eating take on a life of their own.

Given the complexity of eating disorders, considerable scientific research has been conducted in an effort to understand them, yet the biological, behavioral, and social underpinnings of the illnesses remain elusive. Eating disorders frequently develop during adolescence or early adulthood, but onset during childhood or later in adulthood is not unknown. Many adolescents are able to hide disordered eating behaviors from their family for months or years.

Nevertheless, eating disorders are treatable illnesses. Eating disorders frequently occur together with other psychiatric illnesses, such as depression, substance abuse, or anxiety disorders. In addition, people who suffer from eating disorders can experience a wide range of physical health complications, including serious heart conditions and kidney failure, which may lead to death. The recognition of eating disorders as real and treatable diseases is critically important.