Hangry for a Happy Meal

Hey! Hey!! Why so “HANGRY”??

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

You missed breakfast, the vending machine ate your money, now you’re mad… UGH! But is your empty tummy ACTUALLY causing your irritated feelings? 

Viren Swami and fellow researchers from Austria investigated this question. They sent out daily surveys for three weeks to over one hundred people across Europe. Participants were asked how they were feeling at different times of the day. This included hours when they were super hungry or had just eaten.

Researchers found that feelings of hunger were more strongly related to negative emotions, such as anger and irritability! This correlation persisted across all demographics of participants: younger, older, male or female!

Feeling upset because you haven’t eaten is a robust response that can be found in almost anyone. The researchers believe the results from this study may help to promote healthier dieting habits. 

Now, time for my first meal of the day… a HAPPY meal, if I may. 

Reference: Swami, V., Hochstöger, S., Kargl, E., & Stieger, S. (2022). Hangry in the field: An experience sampling study on the impact of hunger on anger, irritability, and affect. PLOS ONE.

Photo credit: https://www.sbs.com.au/topics/voices/health/article/2016/02/18/woman-blames-violent-outburst-being-hangry-science-weighs via @SBSVoices