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Are you angrier when you're hungry?

Apr 16, 2014

Are you angrier when you're hungry?If you get grumpy when you're hungry, you're not alone: new research supports the idea that people get 'hangry'.

In two experiments with married couples, researchers monitored people's blood sugar levels while giving them ways to express their anger. First, the couples measured their blood sugar regularly over 21 days, and were given a 'voodoo doll' of their partner which they could secretly stick pins in when they were angry. Regardless of how happy they said they were with their partner generally, they were more likely to stick a pin in the doll when their sugar levels were low.

The second experiment had the couples playing a computer game against each other. The winner of each game had the chance to blast an unpleasant noise through their spouse's headphones, and could control how loud the noise was and how long it went on for. The lower the person's blood sugar, the longer and louder the noise they chose.

Professor Brad Bushman, who led the research, suggested that hungry people's brains simply don't have the fuel they need to control their aggression. He suggests that a meal or snack containing carbohydrates and protein could be good preparation for difficult conversations.

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