Food intake is regulated by two complementary drives: the homeostatic and hedonic pathways. The homeostatic pathway controls energy balance by increasing the motivation to eat following depletion of energy stores. In contrast, hedonic or reward-based regulation can override the homeostatic pathway during periods of relative energy abundance by increasing the desire to consume foods that are highly palatable.
Homeostatic and Hedonic Signals Interact in the Regulation of Food Intake