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Gastroenterology. 2017 May;152(7):1728-1738. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2016.12.050. Epub 2017 Feb 10.

Blaming the Brain for Obesity: Integration of Hedonic and Homeostatic Mechanisms.

Author information

1
Neurobiology of Nutrition and Metabolism Department, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University System, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Electronic address: berthohr@pbrc.edu.
2
Neurobiology of Nutrition and Metabolism Department, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University System, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Abstract

The brain plays a key role in the controls of energy intake and expenditure, and many genes associated with obesity are expressed in the central nervous system. Technological and conceptual advances in both basic and clinical neurosciences have expanded the traditional view of homeostatic regulation of body weight by mainly the hypothalamus to include hedonic controls of appetite by cortical and subcortical brain areas processing external sensory information, reward, cognition, and executive functions. Hedonic controls interact with homeostatic controls to regulate body weight in a flexible and adaptive manner that takes environmental conditions into account. This new conceptual framework has several important implications for the treatment of obesity. Because much of this interactive neural processing is outside awareness, cognitive restraint in a world of plenty is made difficult and prevention and treatment of obesity should be more rationally directed to the complex and often redundant mechanisms underlying this interaction.

KEYWORDS:

Appetite; Cognition; Cortex; Hypothalamus; Limbic System; Physical Activity; Reward; Self-Control

PMID:
28192106
PMCID:
PMC5406238
DOI:
10.1053/j.gastro.2016.12.050
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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