Poster Presentation Australian & New Zealand Obesity Society 2014 Annual Scientific Meeting

The neuro-endocrinology of eating (#164)

Hendrik Rensburg 1
  1. The Rensburg Clinic, Nedlands, Australia

All of the current neurobiological models of feeding behaviour are either implicitly or explicitly founded in a homeostatic/negative feedback philosophy. On closer examination it appears that these models set the trend in current thinking, but are in many ways flawed since it relies on this homeostatic/negative feedback as the basis for research and understanding. A more lateral approach and better understanding are called for to understand this complex system without the constraints of this theory, which borders at times on dogma. It is argued that normal expected homeostatic mechanisms do not apply to the over consumption of food, but only to the under consumption of food, which is an important survival strategy in an erratic food supply situation. The first obstacle is that the system that causes eating behaviour has never been named or even properly identified, while other systems in the body has been recognized and named, even without a full understanding of its biology and physiology. Extensive fragmented research has gone into the "eating system", but because it was not identified and named it remained largely mysterious, which attracted large numbers of psychologists who made it even more enigmatic. This system that initiates eating behaviour is identified as a dedicated neuro-endocrine biological system for the sole purpose to induce feeding behaviour. A name is proposed for this system and some research are reviewed how it functions physiologically and also pathologically. It is argued that a proper descriptive name for this system has relevance for the treatment and understanding of obesity and further research into it. It is proposed that by far the most eating behaviours are normal physiological phenomena and that only a very small percentage can be regarded as pathophagia's.