Scientific understanding is challenging the conventional wisdom about hunger — now framing it as a scourge that afflicts not only people who get too few calories, but also those who consume mostly sugar and refined starch.

Under this new understanding, people eating the wrong kind of diet can suffer from both hunger and obesity.

A more scientifically accurate view of hunger and obesity couldn’t come at a better time. Obesity affects about 40% of the U.S. population, almost one in four Americans had trouble affording food in 2021, and the price of food has risen more than 11% since this time last year.