hunger has a link to anger© Unsplash

New Study Confirms That ‘Hangry’ Is A Totally Valid State Of Mind!

Salva Mubarak
Senior Features Writer

If you’re someone who turns into a terror once the hunger pangs hit, you don’t have to feel like a monster. A new study has revealed that being well fed (or not) has a notable influence on our feelings of anger.

According to a paper, hunger was directly associated with a higher level of anger and irritability and fewer pleasurable feelings. One of the authors of the paper and social psychologist Viren Swami, of Anglia Ruskin University (United Kingdom), says that, while we’re aware that hunger has a link to anger and irritability, there hasn’t been much scientific investigation into confirming it.

The researchers had over sixty adults record their emotions and hunger pangs five times a day, over a course of 21 days. The findings confirmed their hypothesis, leading them to discover that the link between hunger and anger were significant even after factoring in variables like age, sex, body mass index, dietary behaviour, and personality traits.

“The results provide a high degree of generalizability compared to laboratory studies, giving us a much more complete picture of how people experience the emotional outcomes of hunger in their everyday lives,” wrote co-author and psychologist Stefan Stieger, from the Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences in Austria.

Across a total of 9142 data points submitted by the volunteers, hunger was associated with 48 percent of the variance in anger, 56 percent of the variance in irritability, and 44 percent of the variance in pleasure. The researchers also found out that the negative emotions could be linked to eating patterns arranged over several days as well as individual day-to-day variations.

We’re not the only species who feel ‘hangry’. Several studies have found similar behaviours in the animal kingdom as well. This is why researchers continue to look for links between biology, personality, and our environment.

Even though previous studies have suggested that lower blood glucose levels might have something to do with us getting ‘hangry’, but there’s still no concrete link between this biological activity and our personality.

The research is necessary as identifying the emotion is a step towards managing it efficiently.

“Although our study doesn’t present ways to mitigate negative hunger-induced emotions, research suggests that being able to label an emotion can help people to regulate it, such as by recognising that we feel angry simply because we are hungry,” says Swami.

So the next time you feel like smashing your phone in frustration around mid-day, grab a bite to eat and leave your poor phone alone!