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Regulation of Food Intake and Eating Disorder

People have different nutritional needs, hunger occurs when an individual for a sustained period is not able to take enough food which can meet his / her nutritional needs. Disruption of food supply has for many cases exposed a good world’s population to hunger, food supply can be disrupted through wars, occurrence of plague and adverse weather conditions such as drought. Hunger is a worldwide concern and the millennium development goals or the currently known as the millennium sustainable goals included a commitment to reduce the world’s population suffering from hunger by 50% in the year 2015 which I am not sure whether it has been achieved.

Regulation Of Food Intake And Eating DisorderPrimary drives are basically biological needs that motivate you to find what you need, for instance if you’re hungry you will go for food and if you are thirsty you will get some water to drink. Therefore primary drive of hunger is to tell you when you’re hungry and to keep you healthy, primary drive of hunger makes you feel hungry so that you can fetch food and get necessary nutrients responsible for your healthy life. (In Acred, 2014)  I can ascertain that primary drive of hunger affect eating disorders on how you eat and how much you eat,  most of the common eating disorders include; anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating. Anorexia nervosa is characterized by refusal to maintain body weight at above or normal, individuals suffering from this condition experience intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat. Bulimia nervosa is associated by continuous episodes of binge eating followed by compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting. This condition is common among females and the victim consistently thinks about food, binge eating is an eating disorder close to bulimia nervosa except the absence of compensatory behaviors. Individuals experiencing binge eating condition are aware that what they are doing is wrong and often they eat rapidly than normal. Primary drive of hunger differs between men and women; women have a way of expressing their emotions different from that of men. Women are more concerned about their weight than men, that’s why we hear some women claim they are dieting, simply to mean maybe they eat less not to add weight and therefore women are more to have eating disorders than men.

Eating disorders have become a part of our culture and society which we live in, eating disorders affect people of all races, classes and socio economic status.  People have become more cautious on how they eat to control their weight because nobody wishes to be fat or obese; eating disorders are more prevalent among females than males but a good number of males also experience eating disorders.  Most of the research on eating disorders mostly focuses on females and there is still little research on males, maybe a lot will be realized on male eating disorders if the research will focus on males. Male constitute a small percentage of a total population of the individuals with the eating disorders, males consist approximately 10% – 15% of patients suffering from bulimia nervosa (Brinkerhoff, 2014). Most of the research conducted shows that male and female eating disorders are similar in the early stages of diagnosis, boy dissatisfaction and in weight control methods.  We can all agree that females start puberty earlier than females; the same case applies to eating disorders where the disorders appear earlier in females than in males. Most of the popular studies show that the similarities on the eating disorders is common than differences on both males and females.

Media, society and culture influences these common nutritional disorders; especially the media greatly influences the women’s perception of the real or the appropriate body image. According to Bandura’s social learning theory, people learn behaviors through observation and modelling. People are often confused on the ideal female body, and women will be mostly confused on which kind of nutritional foods to take so as to regulate their body weight. In some cultures and society where male body weight and shape are a concern have increased chances of developing nutritional disorders and body dissatisfaction. Does an extrinsic and intrinsic motivation influence the occurrences of nutritional disorders? Extrinsic motivation occurs when we are motivated to perform a behavior or engage in an activity to be awarded or escape from a punishment. Intrinsic motivation occurs when an individual does something because he / she enjoys it or find it interesting, people should always act on intrinsic motivation rather than extrinsic motivation, I believe intrinsic and extrinsic motivation influences the occurrence of some nutritional disorders, for instance some women are motivated to eat less or eat less fatty foods so as to control their weight (Espejo, 2012). In such a case these groups of women are motivated intrinsically, conditions such as binge eating maybe motivated intrinsically because some people eat large amounts of foods rapidly just because they enjoy eating. Extrinsic motivation may decline if an individual don’t achieve his / her reason for the motivation, people should always do something because they feel like doing it not because they are forced or target a reward after the task.

  • Espejo, R. (2012). Eating disorders.
  • Brinkerhoff,S. (2014). Eating disorders
  • In Acred, C. (2014). Eating disorders.

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