People often overeat when stressed. Scientifically, this phenomenon is called emotional hunger.

About how to distinguish it from physiological, on the day of Healthy Eating, which is celebrated.

– Irrational nutrition is the main modifiable risk factor for alimentary-dependent diseases. It is known that 80-93% of overweight and obese patients suffer to some extent from eating disorders. It would seem – learn the rules of rational nutrition, reduce body weight and reverse many chronic non-communicable diseases. Where are the origins of the problem?


Nutrition is a very complex physiological process, characteristic of all living beings. However, there is a “fatal” distinctive feature of human nutrition. Only a person can use food for other purposes. Judge for yourself. Food only helps with true hunger. And how many times have we used food for comfort in moments of loneliness, sadness, resentment, unrest? Remember that physiological and emotional hunger are not the same thing.


Physiological hunger occurs gradually several hours after the last meal and can be satisfied with different types of food. For example, this time I want hot soup, and at another moment I feel the need for berries and nuts. True hunger disappears when satiated.

Emotional hunger occurs suddenly and often immediately after eating. In this context of psychological discomfort, there is a “brutal” appetite for very specific types of food – usually carbohydrate-fat foods. After eating, there is no feeling of fullness, but the feeling of guilt is pronounced. This eating disorder is called the hyperphagic stress response. Over time, it leads to an excess of fat mass, body dissatisfaction and depression, which, closing the circle, can be an incentive for additional food intake.

Of course, food is the most accessible momentary pleasure and source of endorphins. You should observe yourself, listen to yourself, determine under what circumstances a feeling of uncontrollable emotional hunger arises. When identifying such emotional behavior, it is worth trying to use alternative sources of joy. It is clear that each person will have their own list. Among the pleasures can be reading a book, or watching a movie, or taking a bath, or meeting a friend. If the problem is not stopped by a strong-willed decision, contact the specialists of the interdisciplinary team (nutritionist and psychotherapist). Without correction of eating behavior it is difficult to achieve success in the prevention and treatment of chronic noncommunicable diseases