Effective strategies to combat recent rises in obesity levels are limited. The accumulation of excess body fat results when energy intake exceeds that expended. Energy balance is controlled by hypothalamic responses, but these can be overridden by hedonic/reward brain systems. This override, combined with unprecedented availability of cheap, energy-dense, palatable foods, may partly explain the increase in overweight and obesity. The complexity of the processes that regulate feeding behaviour has driven the need for further fundamental research. Full4Health is an EU-funded project conceived to advance our understanding of hunger and satiety mechanisms. Food intake has an impact on and is also affected by the gut-brain signalling which controls hunger and appetite. This review describes selected recent research from Full4Health and how new mechanistic findings could be exploited to adapt and control our physiological responses to food, potentially providing an alternative solution to addressing the global problems related to positive energy balance.
Keywords: Appetite; Food reformulation; Hunger; Obesity; Satiation; Satiety.