I was planning something else, but I finally opened this month’s issue of the HHMI Bulletin and this article was too good not to share. It is a wonderfully accessible article that explores the difference between eating for pleasure and eating to satiate hunger, and they are not as different as one would imagine.
In a recent experiment, mice placed a higher reward value on a calorie-rich drink than on an artificially sweetened drink after they’d been deprived of food. It’s the first experiment to show that hunger levels affect the reward value of food.
While not specifically related to dogs, I thought it might be of interest since so many of us use food rewards during training. It’s rewarding because it’s pleasurable and it’s pleasurable because…well you can read all about it.
And after you are finished reading you will be able to explain why food is more delicious when you are hungry. It’s not an illusion but a real phenomenon.