Eating behaviour

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  • Created by: Sarah
  • Created on: 28-04-14 09:31
How do neural mechanisms control eating behaviour?
Lesions on the ventromedial hypothalamus caused overeating so must be the satiety centre (Hetherignton & Ranson), lesions on the lateral hypothalamus caused loss of feeding so is the eating centre (Anand & Brobeck).
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Describe the Dual Centre Model of eating.
VMH activated - satiety - LH activated - hunger - food intake - VMH activated.
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How do signals regulate eating behaviour?
Empty stomach sends signals to the brain and ghrelin is secreted when hungry (Cummings), food in stomach signals satiety and CCK is released.
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What evidence is there to support the signal theory of eating behaviour?
Obese mice cannot produce leptin due to lacking a gene. Leptin is usually produced in adipocytes and travels to the hypothalamus where it acts as a satiety signal. Leptin is not produced and so the mice overeat.
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How has evolution shaped the human diet?
Diet of fruit and nuts to begin with then humans rapidly became omnivores. Hunting for meat meant large numbers were fed, it was cost effective and they developed specialised skills. The digestive system is equipped for eating meat. Food neophobia.
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What research has been done into factors affecting attitudes to food?
8-10 exposures are needed to change food preference in babies (Birch and Marlin). There is a correlation between diets of mother and child. Preferences in adolescence are influenced by exposure to food (Nicklaus).
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What research has been done into food and emotion? (Serotonin hypothesis)
Carbs e.g. chocolate, contain tryptophan which the brain uses to manufacture serotonin, however this only works with pure carbs.
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What does the Opiate hypothesis explain about food and emotion?
Brain neurotransmitters such as opioid and serotonin can produce feelings of pleasure and euphoria so are part of the reward system. The reward systems are activated by food and drink which depend upon the opiate/endorphin system.
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What are the characteristics of Anorexia Nervosa?
85% of normal body weight, restricting food/starving, excessive exercise, often affects teenage girls, amenorrhea.
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What research has been done into the neurotransmitter explanation of AN?
High serotonin levels in binge/purge type AN and in those with high anxiety. Disturbance in serotonin leads to high anxiety and therefore AN (Bailer et al). In AN patients there was high dopamine levels in the basal ganglia (kaye et al).
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How does evolution explain AN?
AN is a 'disordered variant' of the adaptive ability of females to alter timing of reproduction (Surbey) 'Adapted to flee' hypothesis explains that traits of AN reflects adaptive mechanisms that once caused migration in response to famine (Guisinger)
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What research supports the neurodevelopment explanation of AN?
mothers with AN expose offspring to a 'double disadvantage' - genetic vulnerability and inadequate nutrition during pregnancy (Bulik et al)
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Evaluate the biological explanations for AN.
SSRIs are ineffective for AN patients but effective in preventing relapse in people in recovery. Complications associated with risk of developing AN were placental infarction, early eating difficulties and low birth weight. Reproduction suppression.
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What problems are there with the biological explanation of AN.
AN can decrease fertility and can cause death. Survival has changed over many years. Suggest universality however western cultures are known to have greater suffering of AN.
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What studies have shown a relationship between culture, the media and AN?
Review of cross cultural studies found that AN is not culture bound but BN is, western influences include the media showing tall/thin images and creates tension between real and ideal, and reinforcement/imitation is involved.
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What did Becker do to study the relationship between the media and AN?
EDs absent in Fiji before TV; over the 5 years after TV was introduced there was a significant number of EDs.
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How was ethnicity and AN researched?
meta-analysis of 98 studies. African-Americans had less body dissatisfaction than Caucasions and Hispanics. In non-western cultures there are more body positive attitudes towards large body sizes. (Grabe and Hyde)
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How was peer influences and AN researched?
Dieting among friends related to unhealthy weight control e.g. diet pills (Eisenburg et al). Children of ineffective parents grow up confused about internal needs, becoming overly reliant on parents. To overcome this they control what they eat (Bruch
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How was personality and AN researched?
Retrospectively evaluated personality traits of teenagers getting treatment for AN - perfectionism in 73% of girls and 50% of boys (Strober et al). Compared to a control groups, AN patients responsed rapidly to a performance task (Butler&Montgomery)
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What does the psychodynamic approach explain AN as?
attempt to gain control (Bruch), postponement of menstruation and remaining child like (Crisp), trying to keep family together (Minuchin et al)
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What problems are there with researching AN?
Research is based heavily on those already diagnosed so it is hard to seperate cause and effect.
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What evidence supports the media theory of AN?
Yamamiya et al found intervention prior to media exposure of idealised female images prevents adverse effects of exposure.
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What evidence supports the link between personality and AN?
Button and Warren: people with AN rely heavily on other opinions, worry about these views and feel a lack of control. Nilsson et al: short illness duration equates to lower perfectionist scores compared to longer illness.
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What factors does Ogden explain influence body dissatisfaction?
Media, family, ethnicity, social class, peer groups.
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What are the characteristics of restrained eaters?
preoccupied with food, depressed moods, BMR decreases as weight is lost, yo-yo dieters have increases chance of heart disease.
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What do Herman & Mack explain about dieting?
There is a Boundary Model - fat stores act as a body weight set point, unrestrained eaters eat until satiety (biological boundary), restrained eaters eat until cognitive boundary. A "what the hell" effect occurs when dieters are pushed over boundary.
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What happened in the preload/taste test?
Restrained and non-restrained eaters were asked to rate a milkshake + 3 tubs of icrecream, then told they could eat what they like. Dieters who had high and medium preloads ate more than when they had a low preload. Non dieters ate less on a high PL.
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Evaluate the Taste test.
All females, division of R and NR was 'post hoc' and uneven, correlation, no cause and effect, individual food preferences, pts got course credit, no ecological validity, no specific 'what the hell' process.
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Card 2


Describe the Dual Centre Model of eating.


VMH activated - satiety - LH activated - hunger - food intake - VMH activated.

Card 3


How do signals regulate eating behaviour?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


What evidence is there to support the signal theory of eating behaviour?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


How has evolution shaped the human diet?


Preview of the front of card 5
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