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I don't understand why appetite is reduce during cold weather

by Gannet
Tags: appetite, cold, reduce, weather
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Gannet
#1
May24-14, 09:45 AM
P: 108
I just read
Appetite is generally reduced during winter activity even though the food needs of the body have increased. If the meal isn't appealing, it won't get eaten. In some situations you literally need to force yourself to eat.
Source: http://www.princeton.edu/~oa/winter/wintcamp.shtml#Food

This counters my intuition

Can someone explain this to me?

Thanks
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SteamKing
#2
May24-14, 10:24 AM
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This has not been my experience.

I suppose the converse is that people become ravenous when the weather gets hot?

No, doesn't work for me, either.
Gannet
#3
May24-14, 11:07 AM
P: 108
SteamKing - This hasn't been my experience either. Shoveling all the snow we had this winter, cause me to have an appetite to even eat foods I wasn't fond of. However, during the summer when it is hot, I usually want to eat lighter.

Doing research on this, I found this statement
Hunger and appetite are not synonymous. Hunger is a biological process that occurs in the stomach. Appetite is the desire to eat, which is in the mind and depends largely on willpower.
Source: Maniguet, Xavier; SURVIVAL, HOW TO PREVAIL IN HOSTILE ENVIRONMENTS; BARNES & NOBLE BOOKS; NEW YORK, NY; 1994; p334

I would assume that hunger would stimulate an appetite response. I even have an appetite response on visual and ofactory stimuli.

adjacent
#4
May24-14, 11:14 AM
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I don't understand why appetite is reduce during cold weather

This has been in my experience.
I usually eat more during summer(Or whatever,I don't have four season here ).
During the cold season(Now), I can say that I don't have too much desire to eat. I don't know why you guys are having a different experience.

I tend to do less activities in the cold.This includes eating.
Evo
#5
May24-14, 11:23 AM
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Everyone I've ever known, myself included, always eat more and more heartier foods in the winter. When the weather gets hot, I don't feel like eating and tend to eat much lighter meals, or even just cold fruit.
phinds
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May24-14, 11:39 AM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
Everyone I've ever known, myself included, always eat more and more heartier foods in the winter. When the weather gets hot, I don't feel like eating and tend to eat much lighter meals, or even just cold fruit.
That has been my experience as well.
adjacent
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May24-14, 11:42 AM
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Am I Alien? or is this due to me having two seasons instead of four?
AlephZero
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May24-14, 11:55 AM
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I think it depends how extreme the activity level and temperature are. The danger point is when your core body temperature starts to drop and you just want to "curl up somewhere warm" (even if that actually means "lying down in the nearest snowdrift") and go to sleep. Thawing out some naturally frozen food (frozen because the temperature is below zero) and eating it is just too much effort compared with a nice sleep ... but that sleep might be the last thing you do, if you give in to it.

The point where that kicks in depends on the climate. In the UK, you are unlikely to get very cold (daytime temperatures are rarely much below freezing even in mid winter), but you are likely to get moderately cold and very wet, if not properly equipped, at any time of the year. UK mountain rescue teams have to deal with hypothermia cases even in the middle of summer.

I tend to do less activities in the cold.This includes eating.
If "doing less activities" means spending more time inside a heated house, that's a different situation IMO.
Borek
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May24-14, 12:53 PM
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Quote Quote by adjacent View Post
Am I Alien? or is this due to me having two seasons instead of four?
Your winter would be classified as summer here, so yes - you are an alien.
adjacent
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May24-14, 12:56 PM
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Quote Quote by Borek View Post
Your winter would be classified as summer here, so yes - you are an alien.
What do you mean? I live in the equator so I have a Sunny season from Jan to May and a Rainy season from May to December. (I don't get snow )
I don't know when you have winter.
SteamKing
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May24-14, 01:15 PM
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If you live between the Tropic latitudes, approx. 23.5 degrees N and S of the equator, you really don't have as great a variation in seasons as at higher latitudes because the angle of the sun doesn't change appreciably during the year, and temperatures are not as variable as a result.

After working for extended periods in hot weather, I have felt at times an aversion to eating anything in preference to drinking something cool. After cooling off, my appetite would return. I have never felt the same in colder weather, but as I have aged, my metabolism has changed noticeably. I find my self feeling chilled more often (I live in a climate which has mostly mild winters), and I eat to help boost my metabolism and ward off the chill.
Choppy
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May24-14, 01:41 PM
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This is another one of those questions where a statement is made and an explanation is sought, but no real evidence for the original statement is introduced.

So, before speculating on an answer, is there any evidence for this beyond an onlne winter camping guide statement?

That said, I wouldn't be too surprised if it's generally true. One speculation is that for most of human existence we haven't had as much food around during the winter months. So it doesn't seem unreasonable that those with a lesser appetite would have a survival advantage over those with a greater appetite (assuming independent, but equal food stores).

Another speculation is that appetite may be influenced by light. When the sun's up it's time to go hunting and gathering. When it's dark, it's time to curl up and listen to stories by the campfire.
Evo
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May24-14, 02:49 PM
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It seems that high levels of melatonin could cause lack of appetite. I suppose that the effect could vary significantly from one person to another.

So is hunger all in the mind? Maybe not. Melatonin, the hormone triggered by darkness that makes us feel sleepy, can also have a role in appetite.

‘In spring and summer, levels of melatonin decline, but in autumn and winter levels of melatonin increase,’ says Dr Perry Barrett at Aberdeen University, whose research specialises in seasonal weight gain in mammals. ‘This hormone acts on appetite.’

In most mammals, this increase in melatonin reduces hunger — a strategy to deal with diminished food resources.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/ar...#ixzz32fF4Vi3c

And this article says the opposite.

Control Your Winter Appetite
It's not just your imagination -- winter really can whet your appetite. Here's how to keep it under control.
http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/c...inter-appetite
Gannet
#14
May25-14, 07:32 AM
P: 108
Thanks everyone for your responses

I go along with AlephZero
I think it depends how extreme the activity level and temperature are. The danger point is when your core body temperature starts to drop and you just want to "curl up somewhere warm" (even if that actually means "lying down in the nearest snowdrift") and go to sleep. Thawing out some naturally frozen food (frozen because the temperature is below zero) and eating it is just too much effort compared with a nice sleep ... but that sleep might be the last thing you do, if you give in to it.
Evo thanks for the links; however, this link http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/ar...#ixzz32fF4Vi3c raise more questions that challenges what I thought I understood, such as:

DONíT WE NEED TO EAT MORE TO STAY WARM?
This is a common belief ó but it couldnít be more wrong,
.
What may surprise you is that most of us eat more in spring and summer: itís just the type of food we want that changes in autumn.
In spring and summer we take in more carbohydrates, but we develop a tendency for fattier foods in autumn,í says Dr Barrett.
I believe we naturally eat what is available during that time of year, and not crave carbohydrates in summer and spring and fattier food in autumn. Because you cannot trust the body to instinctively select the food it needs.

I found the other link itís just the type of food we want that changes in autumn. interesting, such as:
"Studies indicate that we do tend to eat more during the winter months, with the average person gaining at least 1 to 2 pounds -- and those who are already overweight likely to gain a lot more," says Rallie McAllister, MD, author of Healthy Lunchbox: The Working Mom's Guide to Keeping You and Your Kids Trim.
And while a heartier appetite for a few months out of the year may not seem like such a big deal, McAllister says it can be when we end up gaining weight year in and year out.
"Many people who are around 50 years old are also around 30 to 35 pounds heavier than they were when they graduated high school -- and those pounds are roughly equal to 30 winters of a heartier appetite -- so it really does add up," says McAllister, a family practice medicine specialist from Lexington, Ky.
Since exercise helps increase serotonin levels, McAllister says the lack of activity is a double whammy: "If we're not exercising, our appetite increases, and ultimately that means we're eating more and moving less -- and that's a disaster plan for weight gain."
I guess nutritional advice is like the weather here in Maryland, if you don't like it wait five minutes because it will change.


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