Anorexia Nervosa: Pleasure at Getting Thin More than Fear of Getting Fat

Inserm, Paris Descartes University and Sainte Anne Hospital has recently released a study on anorexia nervosa related to emotional explanation of the condition’s prevalence. The study looks at the condition from the standpoint of emotions related to rewards. Subjects were shown pictures of subjects that were considered healthy, thin, and overweight. When at-risk and current patients were shown pictures of thin subjects, reward centers in their brain were activated, whereas subjects in the other categories did not register a response which suggests making treatments focus on rewards. The study also looked at the condition from a genetic standpoint. As anorexia nervosa is a condition that can be inherited, the researchers found that a sweating sensation occurred when many patients with a specific form of a certain gene viewed the pictures of the thinner subjects. One other conclusion of the study suggested a therapeutic approach that asked patients to be mindful of their condition would have a positive effect towards overcoming the condition.

Key Points:

  • 1Anorexia nervosa might not be explained by fear of gaining weight, but by the pleasure of losing it… and that the phenomenon might be genetically influenced.
  • 2When looking at images of thin bodies, the patients showed positively evaluated emotions, whereas healthy subjects had no particular reaction.
  • 3One of the genes most often associated with anorexia nervosa codes for BDNF. The study indicates that the increase in sweating experienced when viewing images of thin bodies is explained by the presence of a specific form (allele) of the BDNF.

Conversely, when looking at images of thin bodies, the patients showed positively evaluated emotions, whereas healthy subjects had no particular reaction.

Read the full article at: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/06/160607112819.htm

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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

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