What Are Four Motives Associated With Hunger?

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Several motives are associated with hunger.
Several motives are associated with hunger. (Image: Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

The motivations to eat relate to factors from different areas. These are factors related to biological reasons, psychological reasons and even reasons due to societal issues, according to Flathead Valley Community College. Most people think hunger pangs are caused by your stomach, but in reality, the motives associated with hunger come from psychological and physiological causes.

Biological Motives

One of the four motives associated with hunger is biological, says Flathead Valley Community College. Stomach signals (like your stomach growling when you have hunger pangs) and oral stimulation (such as when you taste something delicious) both constitute biological motives for hunger. CCK is a hormone that stands for cholecystokinin, which behaves like a neurotransmitter that sends a signal to the receptor sites in your hypothalmus. These receptor sites are associated with both hunger and eating, explaining why you suddenly feel hungry.

Theories of Hunger

The motivation for hunger has also been explained by way of certain theories, reports Flathead Valley Community College. For example; the glucostatic theory of hunger, which was proposed by nutritionist Jean Mayer, claims that hunger is caused by the glucose metabolism in cells dropping below specific levels, stimulating people to eat. Another theory, the Lipostatic theory by Gordon C. Kennedy, proposes that hunger is regulated by your body's storage of body fat. For some individuals, that storage of body fat causes them to overeat and develop obesity.

Psychological Motives

The psychological motive behind hunger can be related to three things: security, safety and even unconscious wishes and desires. It is possible that eating may even be a way of compensating for a psychic and unconscious need, asserts Flathead Valley Community College. One way to understand this is by analyzing a person who overeats. She might eat too much to either insulate herself from her environment, or to become less attractive so to succeed in the avoidance of people.

Eating Disorder

Even an eating disorder can be a motive associated with hunger, indicates Flathead Valley Community College. For instance; the eating disorder of bulimia nervosa exhibits itself if you eat large amounts of calorie-rich food, which you then expel from your body by vomiting or using laxatives to have bowel movements. At times, a person who endures bulimia nervosa ingests as much as 50,000 calories over a short period of time. The causes of this motivation to eat are cultural and social, as well as possible genetic factors.

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