Eating: What, When, and How Much

Post a 100- to 150-word response to the following: After reading section 10.3 in the text, Factors that Determine What, When, and How Much We Eat, does your personal experience support these concepts? Why or why not? Provide examples.

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Yes, I have always known what Pinel (2007) was saying about sensory-specific satiety. When I was working full time I would eat out every day. I would find a restaurant that I liked and I would eat there for some time. In fact, I would eat there every day for lunch. I would start anticipating the meal from the time I walked into my office. The “hunger”, brought on by entering the cephalic phase of energy metabolism, would build and build until I could not think about anything but the anticipation. The consumption of the choice of food would be very satisfying, high marks on palatability. But after a few weeks, I would begin to receive mixed signals about that particular restaurant. I would still crave the food but now an upset stomach would usually follow consumption of that particular type of food. Eventually, the food would make me sick to even think about it. At that point, I would move to another type of food, maybe from Chinese food to fried chicken, which had piqued my interest. On a side note, I have always worked under the assumption that humans operate on a set-point system, of course, I never called it by that name. I always thought that humans ate when they needed energy and didn’t eat when they didn’t need energy. I guess I had never factored obesity into the equation. I also found it very entertaining how sensory-specific satiety helps to bring variety to our diet even if we do not prefer variety. Moreover, I found the evolutionary perspective of sensory-specific satiety enlightening when applied to take full advantage of times of abundance. We are still hard-wired to eat more when there is more so that we can survive when there is less, even when we completely understand that food is always in great abundance.

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Pinel, J. P. J. (2007). Basics of biopsychology. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

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