A subjective feeling, comprising the visceral and emotional components associated with the desire to eat. Occurs in response to energy need (such as after fasting), or may be stimulated in response to external food stimuli irrespective of bodily need. Commonly occurs as a conditioned response to the expected delivery of food at regular, predictable mealtimes. The term is also used to refer to an inferred drive to consume food. Hunger is not purely biologically driven but is also context- and time-specific. At certain times and in certain situations, organisms expect to eat and hunger may be a conditioned response. Hunger is also stimulated by food cues and food availability.
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