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Med Hypotheses. 1994 Jan;42(1):5-10.

Why do we eat?

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  • 1Department of Membrane Research and Biophysics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.


The urge to eat is the main apparent issue underlying obesity. Although vast information regarding the physiology and psychology of eating behavior has been accumulated, a comprehensive concept is still missing. The model presented suggests that feeding behavior is ultimately controlled by the rate of work performed in the muscle or in an as yet unidentified compartment. It suggests a novel approach of a dynamic set-point weight and explains why diets usually fail to resolve the disorder while physical activity is beneficial in losing excess weight. Obesity is presented as a syndrome of high efficiency of energy conversion resulting in a variety of symptoms of which over-weight is only the more apparent. Other symptoms manifested in the predisposition to a variety of illnesses constitute the main health problem and can prevail in the obese subject even without the excess weight. Therefore, resolution of the disorder requires developing approaches which directly affect the efficiency of energy conversion.

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