Understanding the Difference between Hunger and Appetite (Why We Eat)
People eat for two main reasons. The first reason is hunger; the second is appetite.
Hunger and appetite are not synonyms. In fact, hunger and appetite are entirely different processes.
Hunger is the need for food.
1) A physical reaction that includes chemical changes in your body related to a naturally low level of glucose in your blood several hours after eating
2) An instinctive, protective mechanism that makes sure that your body gets the fuel it requires to function reasonably well
Appetite is the desire for food.
1) A sensory or psychological reaction (looks good! smells good!) that stimulates an involuntary physiological response (salivation, stomach contractions)
2) A conditioned response to food
The practical difference between hunger and appetite is this:
When you’re hungry, you eat one hot dog. After that, your appetite may lead you to eat two more hot dogs just because they look appealing or taste good.
(Taken from the book entitled “Nutrition for Dummies 4th Edition” Chapter 14, Pgs. 187-188)
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