Hunger is a game mechanic that was added in Beta 1.8. Instead of directly restoring health, eating food will fill a player's food bar (sometimes referred to as the "hunger bar").
The hunger bar depletes slowly over time. When a player's food bar is 90% full or higher, the health bar will slowly refill. A player's food bar will not decrease in "peaceful" mode. In Creative Mode, players do not have a hunger bar.
When a player is sprinting or Jumping, the Food Bar will deplete much faster, and a player will be unable to sprint at all once the bar falls to 30% or less. Players can get Food Poisoning from eating Raw Chicken, a Pufferfish, or Rotten Flesh or getting hit by a Husk. Food Poisoning changes the appearance of the hunger bar, giving it a green outline, and it causes the hunger bar to rapidly deplete.
If a player has the Saturation Potion effect (via commands), their hunger will never run out until the potion effect stops.
When the hunger bar is empty, a player's health decreases by half a heart every few seconds.
- On "Easy" difficulty, it stops at 50%.
- On "Normal", it stops at half a heart.
- On "Hard" mode, the draining health does not stop until either a player dies or eats something to replenish their hunger bar.