Central Eating Control

Dr Vernon Coleman

Hidden deep inside your brain there is an impressive device known as an appetite control centre. The power of this unique control centre is astonishing. It can make sure that you never get overweight or underweight. And it can make sure that you never become short of essential vitamins or minerals.

The importance and remarkably wide-reaching authority of this part of the brain was identified in research done by Dr Clara M Davis of Chicago in the 1920s. Writing in the American Journal of Diseases of Children in October 1928, she described experiments she’d done with newly weaned infants.

Her aim was to find out whether these young children could:

1. Choose their own food and eat enough to stay alive.
2. Select a good balance of meat and vegetables
3. Pick foods designed to keep them healthy.

The results were staggering. Dr Davis found that without any prompting the infants chose good, varied diets. Their growth rates, development, vigour and appearance were just as satisfactory as those of babies who had been eating foods carefully chosen by experts. They ate the right types of food and they ate the correct quantities. And they stayed perfectly healthy.

Five years later, in a paper read at the 75th Annual Session of the American Dental Association, in conjunction with the Chicago Centennial Dental Congress, Dr Davis gave details of more research that she had done.

Having studied 15 infants for between 6 months and 4 1/2 years she had come to the conclusion that all were able to select a good variety of satisfying foods and to ensure that they ate neither too much nor too little. Despite the fact that hardly any of the children had had more than a taste of spinach or cabbage they all remained healthy. Their eating habits seemed to be unplanned, even chaotic, but none ever had stomach ache or became constipated. The only bouts of diarrhoea that occurred were the result of infections. None of the children who were allowed to choose their own food became chubby or fat.

Some years later, during the Second World War, research showed that when soldiers were allowed access to unlimited supplies of food, the troops ate just what their bodies needed according to their environment. Without any professional prompting, they automatically chose a mixture of protein, fat and carbohydrate that nutrition experts would describe as ideal.

Listen to your body when it tells you what – and how much – you need to eat and you’ll stay slim and well fed for life. There would be no need for dieting books, professional nutritionists or slimming clubs if we’d only learn to let our appetite control centres take over.

Taken from the international bestselling book `Bodypower’ by Vernon Coleman. (Available as a paperback and an eBook).

Copyright Vernon Coleman November 2021