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Overeating

Even the thinkers of antiquity understood that moderation in food is a guarantee of health and longevity, and they said about those who eat too much: “A glutton digs a grave with his teeth.”

Overeating is especially dangerous these days. Indeed, as a result of hypokinesia, people began to spend less energy, and if the amount of energy received from food exceeds energy costs, a person is at risk of obesity, and with it many other diseases and a reduction in life expectancy.

True, in the human body, the state of the energy balance is constantly monitored through neurohormonal mechanisms. Moreover, the most important role belongs to the mechanisms of regulation of appetite.

In the central nervous system, the hypothalamus is responsible for the formation of sensations of hunger and satiation. It houses the “center of hunger” and the “center of satiety.” Excitation and inhibition of these centers is regulated by the content of glucose in the blood; when its level decreases, the activity of the “center of satiety” is suppressed, as a result, the inhibitory impulses going from it to the “center of hunger” are reduced, which causes an increase in appetite.

It is known, however, that appetite is not always consistent with the physiological needs of the body. Most often, increased appetite develops due to the habit of eating a lot. In some families, it is traditional. As a rule, obesity becomes a consequence of overeating. And it is especially dangerous to overfeed children at an early age. Scientists have proved that in such children the number of adipocytes (fat cells) in the body increases and the most severe, difficult to treat form of obesity develops.

Obesity is certainly serious, but, unfortunately, is not the only consequence of overeating.

In recent years, it has been possible to identify the possibility of development as a result of systematic overeating of a number of deviations in the metabolism, even if the body weight remains normal. Doctors define this condition as the “metabolic status of an obese patient without obesity.” First of all, such a person disrupts carbohydrate metabolism, in particular, hyperinsulinemia (increased release of insulin into the blood) develops. the tone of the sympathetic nervous system, the activity of thyroid hormones of the thyroid gland, blood pressure increase.

The frequent combination of arterial hypertension and overeating attracted the close attention of scientists and forced them to clarify the mechanisms for increasing blood pressure in this category of patients. Studies have shown that there is a lot of sodium in their diet, even if they do not abuse salty foods. The fact is that, absorbing a large amount of food daily, together with it they receive an excessive amount of sodium, which is found in almost all products, including those that are not salty in taste. And an excess of sodium in the body, as you know, contributes to an increase in blood pressure.

Thus, overeating, without even leading to obesity, can cause arterial hypertension.

It also causes a significant overstrain of the digestive organs enzyme systems. And this is a direct path to gastritis, peptic ulcer of the stomach and duodenum, to impaired liver and biliary tract function, to the development of cholelithiasis.

With excessive consumption of animal fats with food, cholesterol metabolism is disrupted, which, as you know, contributes to the development and progression of atherosclerosis. Recently, an important role in the emergence of this extremely common pathology is given to the violation of the ratio between the two types of lipoproteins contained in the blood – particles that transfer lipids (fats). There are low and very low density lipoproteins containing many lipids, including cholesterol, and low protein, as well as high density lipoproteins. including a significant amount of protein. Particles of the first type contribute to the development of atherosclerosis. And the increase in their blood levels is associated primarily with overeating.

Mass surveys conducted in our country and abroad indicate that the population of developed countries eats too much sugar. Passion for confectionery, sweets. ice cream can disrupt the endocrine function of the pancreas and lead to the development of diabetes.

There is another extreme. Some suggest, for example, that foods that are rich in fats and carbohydrates are included in the diet. harmful, and excess protein is not dangerous. But they are deeply mistaken. Overeating protein foods is also highly undesirable. Children and the elderly are especially sensitive to excessive amounts of protein in the diet: first of all, the liver and kidneys suffer from them, since the liver in this case has to digest an excessively large amount of amino acids entering it, and the kidneys excrete an increased amount of protein metabolic products with urine. In addition, constantly consuming an excess of proteins, a person receives a lot of purine nucleotides that are part of nucleic acids.

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