Difference Between Appetite and Hunger (With Table)

Actions like heart breathing, brain processing for conversation contents, movement of an arm to scratch a nose, or leg muscles contraction while walking requires energy. Calories in food are a resource for getting energy. So, getting enough energy with other nutrients is vital for our survival.  

Appetite and hunger are two of the reasons why we eat food. Most people often use the terms appetite and hunger interchangeably, which is completely wrong. It is important to understand the difference to keep a balanced attitude toward eating and food. This article focuses on clearing up the confusion between appetite and hunger by differentiating them. 

Appetite vs Hunger 

The main difference between appetite and hunger is that appetite is a psychological desire based on the pleasure generally derived from eating two eat. On the other hand, hunger is the physical response of the body to the requirement of food.  

Due to external cues, the desire to eat increases is and known as appetite. Thinking, seeing, and smelling about food causes the development of appetite. At certain times while out of routine expecting food can lead to appetite development in anticipation of eating.  

The physiological need for food in the body is known as hunger, and that’s the way the body tells to need to eat. Hunger is all about giving fuel to the body and maintaining homeostasis to maintain body functions such as breathing, thinking, and digesting food. 

Comparison Table Between Appetite and Hunger 

Parameters of ComparisonAppetiteHunger
InterpretationIt is a psychological desire based on the pleasure generally derived from eating two eat.It is the physical response of the body to the requirement of food.
ControlCan be ignoredCannot be ignored
Discomfort and painIt does not cause discomfort and pain.It causes physical discomfort and pain.
OccurrenceNot time-dependentGradual onset
SatisfactionCan be satisfied by a particular food that might provoke thoughts and emotions afterward.Only satisfied by energy-providing food. 

What is Appetite? 

It is vital to understand that appetite is quite selective and generally appeared urgently or suddenly, typically due to an emotional feeling. In this case, desire for food-specific such as the desire of pizza slice from the favorite pizzeria, exquisite chocolate cake seen today in the evening or some popcorn in a lazy afternoon.  

There is no feeling of fullness even after finishing eating, and the person is not full from what has just eaten. Soon after finishing the food a sense of sadness or guilt might begin because the food spoilt diet, feeling bloated, or simply that food is not beneficial when it comes to health.  

In the end, a person may realize that he/she was not hungry and it was not necessary. The cycle of appetite is anticipated pleasure, search for the food, and at last, ending up with the food is found but fails to satisfy the person’s energy and physiological needs.  

Appetite leads to an increase in non-nutritious calorie intake unnecessary which will produce little by little excess fat. In the body, this excess fat might be stored and result in several diseases. Some of the examples are diabetes, cancer, dyslipidemia, etc. 

What is Hunger? 

Hunger is an expression of the urge and desire to eat food. It responds to the body for physiological needs. When the body is hungry, and we fail to satisfy hunger needs then the body consumes glycogen. Glycogen is a molecule with energy storage. It is done by breaking the glycogen simply into glucose.  

This energy’s part is transmitted to our muscles, blood cells, and brain. Dizziness, tiredness, headaches, weakness, mood swing, sleepiness, stomach pain, fatigue, and in serious cases, fainting can be experienced while feeling hungry. The body requires nutrients constantly so there is no need to wait to experience the hunger sensation. 

Hunger-related physiologically does not correspond to an impulse or an emotional stimulus. Hunger does not appear instantly due to a state of intense anxiety or stress. It is not also particular to a certain food group. It is a primary body’s need that has to be resolved.  

When the stomach is empty, and the level of food glucose drops to a certain level, then a hormone, namely ghrelin released in the GI tract with the help of cells. This hormone compels the brain to increase the amount of gastric acid secretion as well as GI motility to get ready to feed the body. 

Main Differences Between Appetite and Hunger 

  1. When it comes to signs, contraction in the muscles of the stomach and salivating are typical of appetite. But dizziness, gurgling, nausea, headaches, growling, or rumbling in the stomach are a few of the signs of hunger.  
  2. Appetite is influenced by a range of external forces. On the other hand, hunger is affected by eating patterns, nutrients in the bloodstream, climate, etc.  
  3. Even after eating, the appetite may carry or due to desire. On the flip side, hunger appears after many hours without consuming food.  
  4. A person might eat often in appetite more than expected, or it can be said that it is mindless eating, whereas the person is more mindful and aware of what food is consuming in case of hunger.  
  5. In appetite, there is a craving for particular comfort foods such as sugary, fatty foods or salty. But hunger is generally open to a range of foods for gratification. 

Conclusion 

It can be concluded that appetite and hunger are two of the reasons why we eat food. Appetite is a psychological desire based on the pleasure generally derived from eating two eat. On the flip side, hunger is the physical response of the body to the requirement of food.  

Appetite can be ignored because it does not cause discomfort and pain. On the other hand, hunger cannot be ignored because it causes physical discomfort and pain. Appetite can be satisfied by a particular food that might provoke thoughts and emotions afterward. In contrast, hunger is only satisfied by energy-providing food. 

References 

  1. https://joe.bioscientifica.com/view/journals/joe/184/2/1840291.xml
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=Uog4AAAAIAAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=hunger&ots=xJhZC3UkY7&sig=ygHk3bL3pe959pRlbHALPkF1TZM
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