Quote from rodabon
I think this change is good and a step in the right direction. I agree exhaustion numbers probably needs turned down a little and the health regen limit of 8.5 hearts probably should be changed to something like 7.5 (or perhaps variable depending on difficulty setting).
I agree with lowering the health regen limit- 8.5 seems a tad unreasonable. As you said, though, I agree with the direction they're taking. Allowing more interplay between hunger and health helps to regain some of the better portions of the pre-1.8 system while leaving out some of the less favorable ones.