Difference Between Appetite and Hunger
Key difference: Hunger is the physical need for food. Appetite is the desire for food.
Appetite and hunger are two significantly different terms. Hunger is the physical need for food. This is when the body is letting you know that it needs food, as oppose to appetite, which is a desire for food, a craving which may exist even in the absence of hunger. Both are directly responsible for a person eating.
Hunger is a physical response; it is when a body needs food. Once a person eats, the pancreas releases insulin, a hormone which converts the food into glucose and moves it to the cells of the body. When the body runs low on glucose, then the body needs more food. At this time, the body expressed its need for food, in the manner of hunger pangs. These usually include an empty feeling in the stomach, loud rumblings or stomach growling. This warns you that your body needs food and that it is time to eat.
Appetite, on the other hand, has nothing to do with this physical need for food. It is more of a psychological want of food. It is usually triggered by sensory or psychological reactions, such as sights, smells or memory. For example, if you see a chocolate cake while walking past a bakery, or remember that great dish you had at a restaurant that one time. These kinds of psychological reactions cause salivating and you want to have that chocolate cake or that great dish. This has rarely got to do anything with hunger; however hunger does enhance the reaction. If you are full, you tend to crave less, as opposed to when you are hungry, then you start craving even more and even strongly.
However, one may also experience, a loss of appetite. This happens when a person does not feel like eating, even if they are hungry. For example, when you are sick or have a cold, nothing tastes right, so even though you are hungry and your body needs the nutrition, you prefer to skip a meal. Both hunger and appetite are natural body functions and necessary for healthy body. Still, one should try to control appetite, as over indulging may lead to weight gain.