Measuring Hunger

Hunger is a subjectively expressed construct that people use to express a motivation to eat. The most appropriate measure of hunger is its subjective expression at a given time. This is achieved by asking subjects to mark a visual analog scale, which takes the form of a straight line with two extreme representations of hunger anchored at either end. It is most useful to track changes in subjective hunger over time and in relation to feeding events, diet composition, or physiological parameters. Hunger itself exhibits a large learned component (see above) as reflected by the fact that most of the variation in the subjectively expressed hunger of human subjects is accounted for by time. If hunger is plotted against time in Western subjects feeding ad libitum then it generally exhibits three peaks and troughs, which broadly correspond to the three main

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