Being ‘hangry’ is such a common term these days that you’d be forgiven for thinking that it’s been a proven fact that anger and hunger go hand in hand. Well, it turns out that it’s never been legitimately proven – until now.
Yup, scientists have FINALLY started answering the real questions. It’s about time too.
Science buff Simon Oxenham took to writing in the New Scientist to finally confirm what we’ve all been hashtagging for years. He wrote: “The main reason we become more irritable when hungry is because our blood glucose level drops.
“This can make it difficult for us to concentrate and more likely to snap at those around us.
“Low blood sugar also triggers the release of stress-related hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, as well as a chemical called neuropeptide Y, which has been found to make people behave more aggressively towards those around them.”
He continued that this can have an ‘alarming’ affect on how you feel about other people.
“A classic study of married couples asked them to stick pins into ‘voodoo dolls’ that represented their loved ones, to reflect how angry they felt towards them. The volunteers then competed against their spouse in a game, in which the winner could blast loud noise through the loser’s headphones,” he continued.
“The researchers tracked the participants’ blood glucose levels throughout. They found that when people had lower sugar levels, the longer the blasts of unpleasant noise they subjected their spouse to, and the more pins they stuck into their dolls.”
Bloody hell, that’s pretty damning.
He also goes on to say that there was a past study that claimed judges are less likely to give lenient sentences the closer it gets to lunch. This basically means that if you’re facing a sentencing prior to their sandwiches, you’re probably going to get a much longer sentence. Yikes.
However, he reckons that this is bollocks as the study’s findings have never been replicated. Simon explained: “Harsher sentences may in fact be more likely towards the end of the morning because judges schedule simpler cases for this time. More complicated, lengthier cases carry a risk of running over into their lunch break.”
Oh well then that’s fair enough.
Unless more research goes into it, we won’t know exactly how much hunger affects us. However, Simon ends his piece by saying that big decisions shouldn’t be faced on an empty stomach. Pizza, anyone?