a free, open-access course in diet & nutrition

2.1    Hunger and satiety

Hunger and satiety are crucial regulatory mechanisms that greatly contribute to maintain a healthy body weight, or to disrupt it if something goes wrong. Today we try to understand how they work.

2.2    Do we eat only when we are hungry?

There are many other situations in which we eat even if we are not really hungry. The regulation of eating behavior is not only biological, but also psychosocial.

2.3    Disordered eating behaviors

Our tendency to associate food with comfort, reward or love, can result in disordered eating behaviors such as comfort eating, stress eating, binge eating, food addiction, food obsession, purging, and night eating syndrome.

2.4    Eating disorders (anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa)

Our concept of what is ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’ is primarily a product of our culture, our values, what we see around us and what our parent taught us. This applies to body weight as well. Eating disorders, such as Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa, are pathological conditions which require medical attention and treatment.

2.5    What drives our food choices?

What drives our food preferences and our food choices? The answer involves both biological, psychological and social factors.

2.6    Can we change eating behavior?

It’s really hard to change any of our habits, and this applies to our eating habits as well. However, we do have strategies and tricks to do it successfully.

Eating Behavior


In this section we study eating behavior. What are hunger and satiety and how do we regulate them, both biologically, psychologically and socially? What drives our food choices? What eating behaviors are disordered? And how can we change eating behavior?

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