Hangry Cycles

Can we take a lunch break? I’m so HANGRY

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

We all look forward to eating. But why? We know that animals can anticipate food, but it’s never been shown in humans. Could HANGER prove that we do it too?

Enter Cheryl Isherwood and team at the University of Surrey.

Researchers monitored glucose levels for 24 volunteers eating at different times. Glucose is a sugar molecule that our bodies break down into energy. The participants either ate small hourly meals or two large daily meals for six days. Their glucose was measured every fifteen minutes and their hunger rated hourly.

Results? Hourly snacking raised glucose levels and kept hunger consistent. Participants with only two daily meals had sharp drops in glucose levels after each meal. And their hunger increased in anticipation of meal time!

These findings FINALLY connect a biological pattern with our desire for the next meal! Just make sure you don’t skip any.

For me it’s time for. . . Second Breakfast. Then elevenses.


Isherwood, C.M., van der Veen, D.R., Hassanin, H., Skene, D.J., Johnston, J.D. Human glucose rhythms and subjective hunger anticipate meal timing. Curr Biol, 33 (2023).