A young Philadelphia couple in 1940, looking hangry. Photo credit: State Library and Archives of Florida, Flickr.
About to yell at your spouse/colleague/milkman? Take a moment: Do you need a snack? Are you hangry?
Hangry, the marriage of hungry and angry, is not only a trendy word, it’s science, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. “Self-control of aggressive impulses requires energy,” says the paper’s thesis, “and much of this energy is provided by glucose derived from the food we eat.” (Translation: If you’re super-furious and looking for a plate to hurl at the wall, consider whether maybe you just need some nachos.)
Apparently—we can’t make this stuff up—scientists gave spouses the opportunity to blast their partners with loud, irritating noises, or to stick voodoo dolls representing said spouse full of pins.
Researchers found that “as expected, the lower the level of glucose in the blood, the greater number of pins participants stuck into the voodoo doll, and the higher intensity and longer duration of noise participants set for their spouse.” As NPR reports, “people with the lowest blood sugar levels stuck more than twice as many pins in the voodoo dolls, compared to people with the highest levels.”
"Twice as many pins" = you’re probably twice as likely to rage when you’re ravenous. So the next time you’re about to say something you might regret, go grab a hunk of cheese or some salted peanuts or something. Eating: Now good for your relationships, too!