Biological explanations of eating behaviour

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  Neural mechanisms in controlling eating behaviour.   Digestive tract .   The digestive system is to break down foods into amino acids and sugars. Mouth: saliva in the mouth contains enzymes that break down the carbohydrates into sugars and protein into amino acids. Passes through the oesophagus to the stomach. Continues onto the Duodenum, the start of the small intestine, where a stronger concentration of enzymes further break down the food into more glucose and amino acids. The glucose and amino acids are absorbed through the walls or the small intestine and into the blood stream. The waste then passes thought the large intestine and expelled.   Insulin and glucagon are released from the pancreas and have a vital role in eating behaviour and body weight regulation. Insulin regulates the level glucose in the blood strum to enter into the cells so they can function. Insulin also converts glucose into glucagon. Glucagon is stored in the liver and muscles to make up the main energy reserves for the body. Adipose cells are the fat storage cells of the body. After digestion, insulin enables fat in the bloodstream to be stores in the adipose cells. If there are low levels of insulin, levels of blood glucose rise and cause confusion, loss of consciousness and heart attacks. Biological explanations of why we eat.   Cannon and Washburn (1912). Cannon inflated a balloon inside Washburn s stomach and used it to measure stomach contractions in relation to his feelings of hunger. It was found that stomach contractions correlated with his feeling of hunger. Hetherington and Ranson (1942) Found that rats with lesions to a specific part of their hypothalamus caused them to over eat. The part of the hypothalamus that appeared to have the function to inhibit feeding was the VMH. Anand and Brubeck (1951) Found that another part of the hypothalamus called the LH, if damaged, led to a loss of feeding. Cummings (2006) Found that injection of ghrelin increases food intake and body weight in animals and humans. It was also suggested that

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