The scientists at How Stuff Works have compared hunger and food cravings and say that hunger has a connection with the stomach and the brain whereas the latter is way more complicated. Cravings are generally for a specific type of food and some scientists call it the ‘mind hunger’.
Hunger For Food
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Hunger isn’t all that complicated according to research done by VOA News, scientists term it as ‘stomach hunger’ which happens when the stomach is done burning up the food we’ve consumed. At this point, a hormone called gherlin sends the message to the hypothalamus which is a part of the brain that more food is needed. The hypothalamus whose job is to regulate thirst, hunger and appetite, releases a chemical that gives us the feeling that we are hungry and then we eat.
Craving is something that involves the reward center of the brain and is associated with the mental state and memory of the person who is craving a particular food. Scientists say that usually people crave food which is high in fat and sugar that release chemicals in the brain. This is like a pleasure or a euphoria which is like a drug.
The study is “consistent with the idea that cravings of all kinds, whether for food, drugs, or designer shoes, have common mechanisms,” said Marcia Levin Pelchat, the lead author of this study. Studies have also shown that the mental state of a person can affect food cravings and not hunger.