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Being ‘hangry’ is backed up by actual science

Posted by
Tom Victor
Published

There was a time when anyone who blamed their mood on hunger would see their claims laughed off.

People would say things like “hangry is a made up word” or “that Snickers advert isn’t based in reality” or “how dare you speak to me?”.

But the joke’s on them, because it turns out ‘hanger’ is a legitimate thing. Even smart science guys (yes, that’s a technical term) are saying as much.

“The main reason we become more irritable when hungry is because our blood glucose level drops,” Simon Oxenham wrote in a piece for New Scientist which is doing the rounds once again.

“This can make it difficult for us to concentrate, and more likely to snap at those around us,” Oxenham added.

“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 draws reference to a study involving married couples and voodoo dolls, during which researchers noted that ‘self-control requires energy, part of which is provided by glucose’.

So, if you think one of your colleagues is being a bit of a dick towards the end of the day, maybe cut them some slack. Or bring them a snack. It’s probably science’s fault.

(Main image: Rex Features)