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Cell Metab. 2009 Jun;9(6):489-98. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2009.04.007.

The control of food intake: behavioral versus molecular perspectives.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45237, USA.


To meet the continuous demand for energy, organisms use diverse signals to match food intake with energy needs. This paper reviews the effect of satiation signals and adiposity signals on food intake, including how they interact in the brain and how their influence changes with experience. Whereas meal initiation is influenced by external environmental factors, meal size is influenced by an array of signals that can be partitioned according to their reliability in indicating caloric content of food. It is argued that the malleability of satiation signals renders them poor candidates as pharmacological targets to control body weight.

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