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The Neuroscience of Hunger

Mustafa Sultan
Mustafa Sultan
I’ve been enjoying The Hungry Brain. It covers the neuroscience of hunger and eating.

The Lipostat
Just like a house has a thermostat, the body has a lipostat. This is the body’s fat-regulating system. Just like a house thermostat adjusts heating/cooling to set the temperature, the lipostat adjusts conscious and unconscious behaviour to regulate fat gain/loss (Set Point Theory).
Sounds intuitive, but here’s where it gets even more complicated. We all understand that eating 1000 excess calories (regularly) will result in some weight gain (calories in, calories out).
But what you eat can actually change the set point of your lipostat.
In effect, eating an excess of highly palatable foods (like chocolate) hits your body with a double whammy. They’re calorie-dense, which in itself can cause weight gain, but on top of that, they turn up your lipostat — consciously/unconsciously causing you to gain weight.
The Hungry Brain by Stephan Guyenet
Genetics vs Environment
Sort of related to the above, I think we all intrinsically feel that our height is mostly pre-determined, whilst weight is mostly under our control.
But twin studies disagree.
Both height and weight are about 80–100% heritable.
Genetic influences on the difference in variability of height, weight and body mass index between Caucasian and East Asian adolescent twins | International Journal of Obesity
Something weird happened yesterday.
I wrote in March about how I’m going to switch my online presence from ‘Mustafa Sultan’ to
(Reasons explained in this post, but essentially because I’d like to separate my online identity from my real life one. This might stop weaponised GMC reporting in the future.
It’s also a much more useful bit of information than a full name. It conveys 1) what I like to be called and 2) a web address people can find out more about me.)
On a call yesterday, someone who didn’t know me — asked if I was lol.
A little cringe, a little weird — but a step in the right direction.
New Paper
European stakeholder perspectives on challenges to rare disease drug development – a qualitative study
All the best,
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Mustafa Sultan
Mustafa Sultan @mustafasultan

Thoughts on healthcare, human optimisation and productivity. A little taste of what I'm thinking and reading about.

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