The Hunger Effect

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Scientists recently proved that there is a strong correlation between being hungry and becoming easily irritated, according to New Scientist.

Colloquially known as “hangry,” previous studies have shown the link between hunger and anger but most were conducted in laboratory settings.

In their paper, a research team surveyed 64 people across the globe to monitor their emotions and how hunger affected them.

The participants had to fill in short surveys about their feelings and how hungry they were five times every day for three weeks.

Not surprisingly, the results showed a direct link between an individual’s hunger levels and self-reported feelings of anger and irritability: Hunger was linked to 56 percent of the variation in feelings of irritation, for example, indicating that the impact was substantial.

“The hungrier you are, the more likely it is that you will also feel irritability and anger, and experience less pleasure,” said lead author Viren Swami “It’s a robust, valid effect.”

Swami and his team added that feeling “hangry” causes people to “interpret (potentially) negative contextual cues as negative,” such as being bumped into by other people in crowded places.

Other researchers suggested that “hangry” feelings can arise because of low blood sugar, which causes the body to release hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol – the latter raising stress levels.

The team also quipped that the study could have also contributed to these feelings of irritability because participants would receive reminder messages to complete the survey.

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