Study Suggests Hunger May be Tied to Memory More so Than Biological Factors

Hunger seems to be a straightforward logic. We eat whenever we are hungry and consume a portion amount in relation to the size of our appetite. This will normally stave off hunger until it is time for the next meal. However, a new research suggests that it may not always be our stomachs that dictate the level of our hunger.

Recent study shows that our perception of the amount of food on our dinner plate may have a huge influencing factor. Additional findings also suggest that other factors like eating while watching television or while browsing the Internet can cause one to eat more than usual.

The most recent research
shows that short-term memory may also determine appetite levels and that hunger can be predicted not by the amount of food consumed but by how much one believes he has eaten.

The experiment was conducted in the U.K. and consisted of 100 adult participants. Each volunteer was given either a 10-ounce or 17-ounce bowl of soup and told to consume the entire portion. However, unbeknownst to the participants, the bowls actually contained a concealed tube that would either refill or drain the amount of soup that was in the bowl. This meant that those who eaten from the 10-ounce bowl may have actually consumed more and those with the 17-ounce bowl may have eaten less.

As expected, those who consumed more soup reported feeling more full. However, when asked again three hours later, the level of fullness was only dictated by the amount of soup that was believed to be consumed. Regardless of how much soup they really had, those who ate from the 17-ounce bowl reported feeling more stuffed than those that ate from the 10-ounce bowl.

The conclusion definitely seems to suggest that hunger and volume of food consumption is something that is dictated more by our eyes and perception rather than what our stomach actually feels.