Body Weight Regulation and Anorexia

According to data by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the United States has seen a dramatic increase in obesity with all states having 20% or more of their population being obese (U.S. Obesity Trends). On the other hand, it is estimated that 8 million Americans suffer from eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia (Eating Disorder Statistics). These two observations point to the prevalence of body weight concerns in contemporary U.S. culture. Given these facts, what light do scientific findings shed on the problem of body weight regulation?

For this week’s Discussion you analyze the complex factors that contribute to body weight. You also assess the biological and cultural influences related to eating disorders.

With these thoughts in mind:

PART 1 – WRITE a Post a description of how metabolic rate

changes with caloric intake. Then describe at least four influences on

body weight. Finally, explain how cultural influences might contribute

to eating disorders. Support your postings and responses with specific

references to the literature and Learning Resources.

Required Resources


  • Breedlove, S. M., & Watson, N. V. (2018). Behavioral neuroscience (8th ed.) New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
    • Chapter 12, “Sex: Evolutionary, Hormonal, and Neural Bases”
    • Chapter 13, “Homeostasis: Active Regulation of Internal States”
  • Schwarz, N. A., Rigby, B. R., La Bounty, P., Shelmadine, B., & Bowden, R. G. (2011). A review of weight control strategies and their effects on the regulation of hormonal balance. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, 1–15. Retrieved from


Optional Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). U.S. obesity trends. Retrieved February 21, 2012, from

South Carolina Department of Mental Health. (2006). Eating disorder statistics. Retrieved from

PART 2 – 

Application: Paper on Sexual Differentiation

Hormones play a crucial role in shaping the fetal body into either a male- or female-typical body. The brain determines the type and amount of hormones the fetus produces. Furthermore, hormones do not act alone, but rather in concert with brain regions that regulate sexual behavior. The brain, therefore, not only regulates sexual behavior, but it is also shaped by the same hormones that prepare the body for reproduction. These facts raise intriguing questions about gender, sexual behavior and orientation, and the extent to which these are, or are not, under conscious human control.

For this Assignment, you research and evaluate the current literature on prenatal influences on sexual behavior, gender orientation, or gender typical behavior.

The Assignment:

Select an article related to the process of sexual differentiation, prenatal influences on sexual orientation, gender orientation, or gender typical behavior and write a 2- to 3-page paper that addresses the following:

  • Write a brief summary of the article you selected. Describe two implications of the article’s findings. Explain whether the findings concur or conflict with the body of literature in this area.
  • List one question that remains unanswered and is in need of further research.


Explain how cultural influences might contribute to eating disorders
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