According to a study from National Center for Biotechnology Information, when hunger strikes, you may be craving more than just food. Besides making us cranky, putting us in a bad mood, and craving some kind of specific food, hunger’s effects include a stronger desire for simple, day-to-day objects. People who are hungry even seem to shop more at the mall.
What this means is that, if you’re hungry, you’re not just hungry for food, but for anything. And anything can fulfill your eating desire — even if it’s not food.
NCBI study suggests that “hunger is assumed to motivate eating, which satisfies the caloric needs underlying the motivation. However, hunger’s influence extends beyond food consumption to the acquisition of nonfood items that cannot satisfy the underlying need (e.g., binder clips), suggesting that domain-specific motives can influence behavior in unrelated domains that are irrelevant to the motive. (…) It makes food seem more attractive and motivates people to spend time and money seeking, acquiring, and consuming it. Hunger can also increase people’s desire for money that can be exchanged for calories. Moreover, it can increase men’s preference for heavier women, who presumably have richer calorie resources. In contrast, hunger does not influence people’s evaluations of calorie-unrelated objects that are irrelevant to the satisfaction of hunger. “
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