Hunger Drive and Eating Disorders

HungerDrive and Eating Disorders

HungerDrive and Eating Disorders

Hungerdrive is the interaction of emotional, cognitive and hormonal factorsthat makes a person yearn for food(Södersten, Bergh &amp Zandian, 2006).Hunger drive has a significant role and greatly influences how peopleconsume food. For a person to have the drive to eat, one has to feelhungry. The frequency at which an individual feeds largely depends onhow often one experiences the hunger drive. Therefore, hunger is adetermining factor in how much and how often a person feeds, hencesignificantly affecting eating disorders. Söderstenet al. (2006) define eating disorders as abnormalities in eatinghabits marked by extremes, either too much or too little. There arethree common eating disorders: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, andbinge eating. People with anorexia nervosa are afraid of beingoverweight and, as a result, eat too little and can starve to death.On the other hand, people with bulimia nervosa consume large amountsof foods and try to get rid of it through vomiting, excessiveexercise, and diuretics among others (Masheb&amp Grilo, 2006). People with binge-eating disorder consume morethan the body requires but do nothing to get rid of excess fat in thebodies.

Genderand cultural differences play a significant role in the issue ofeating disorders. According to Barry, Grilo &amp Masheb, (2002),eating disorders are more common and prevalent in females compared tomen. Men are worried about building muscles to achieve an ideal bodyfigure while women are worried about adding some fat or losing someweight to attain an admirable female figure. For this reason, somemen tend to live active lives characterized by consumption of a largeamount of food and vigorous physical and gym activities. Emotionally,men`s eating habits are rarely affected by emotion such as stress anddepression. According to Adriaanse, de Ridder &amp Evers (2011),while men tend to turn to excessive consumption of alcohol whendepressed, women do what is known as emotional eating. Women consumemuch junk food when stressed or depressed, and this is one of thereasons many women are becoming overweight.

Whilesome women overeat when stressed or depressed, others get emotionalabout their eating habits. Such women will not eat at all to attain aslim, straight figure, which they think is admirable, especially inthe Western culture. Unlike the Western culture, cultures such as theAfrican culture tend to view a woman as an object of admiration,instead of an independent person. Therefore, the African culture hasinfluenced women to adopt bad eating habits to add weight and becomegorgeous before the eyes of men.

Extrinsicmotivation is the enthusiasm to involve in an activity to get areward, praise or avoid punishment. On the other hand, intrinsicmotivation is the enthusiasm that is inwardly triggered to involve inan activity to accomplish a personal goal. Most of the eatingdisorders in women are extrinsically motivated. Due to culturalpressure, women are forced to become either too slim (Westernculture) or with big buttocks (African culture). Therefore eating toolittle or too much for many women is to be admired or praised by men. According to Söderstenet al. (2006),in some few cases, a person may develop an eating disorder in theprocess of managing excess weight. In such cases, the eating disordercan be said to be intrinsically motivated. Similar to women, many mendevelop eating disorders because of extrinsic motivation to achievemasculine male figures, which are preferred and admired by women.


Adriaanse,M.A., de Ridder, D., Evers. (2011). Emotional eating: Eating whenemotional or emotional about eating? Psychologyand Health.26(1), 23-39.

Barry,D., Grilo, C., &amp Masheb, R. (2002). &quotGender Differences inPatients with Binge Eating Disorder&quot.&nbspInternationalJournal of Eating Disorders&nbsp31,63-70

Masheb,R.M. &amp Grilo, C.M. (2006). Emotional overeating and itsassociation with eating disorder psychopathology among overweightpatients with binge eating disorder. InternationalJournal of Eating Disorders.39(2), 141-146.

Södersten,P., Bergh, C., &amp Zandian, M. (2006). Understanding eatingdisorders.&nbspHormonesand Behavior,&nbsp50(4),572-578.