Many people think that “hangry” is just a lame excuse that their girlfriends use when they have mood swings when they are hungry. However, scientists have proven that it is actually a real phenomenon!
“Hangry” refers to a combination of words “hungry” and “angry”, an expression that many people use to refer their irritable mood swings when they are hungry.
While some people think that being “hangry” is a myth, researchers at the University of Guelph in Canada found that there is a link between hunger and mood swings.
In an observational study on the moods of hungry mice, the researchers found that a drop in blood sugar which is the result of hunger, led to a downward change in the mood of the rodents.
“When people think about negative mood states and stress, they think about the psychological factors, not necessarily the metabolic factors,” said Ph.D. student Thomas Horman in a press release.
“But we found poor eating behavior can have an impact,” he continued.
In the study, the mice were injected with a glucose metabolism blocker to induce feelings of hunger. They were later placed in a specific chamber. In a separate occasion, the mice were injected water and also place in another chamber.
The researchers later found that the mice avoided the chamber where they were injected with the blocker when they were given the choice to choose which chamber to enter.
“This type of avoidance behavior is an expression of stress and anxiety,” said Prof. Francesco Leri from the university’s Department of Psychology. “The animals are avoiding that chamber because they had a stressful experience there. They don’t want to experience it again.”
“We found evidence a change in glucose level can have a lasting effect on mood,” Leri added. “I was skeptical when people would tell me that they get grouchy if they don’t eat – but now I believe it.”
The researchers are hoping to explore the long-term impact on a person’s psychological state when meals are frequently skipped.
“Poor mood and poor eating can become a vicious cycle in that if a person isn’t eating properly, they can experience a drop in mood, and this drop in mood can make them not want to eat,” Horman said.
“If someone is constantly missing meals and constantly experiencing this stressor, the response could affect their emotional state on a more constant level.”
Another study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill also explains the phenomenon.
The study involved 400 volunteers who had to perform different tasks after a period of fasting. The study also included the researches ascertained each volunteer’s state of hunger by asking and observing how the volunteers interpreted images based on their state.
“We find that feeling hangry happens when you feel unpleasantness due to hunger but interpret those feelings as strong emotions about other people or the situation you’re in,” assistant Professor Kristen Lindquist, co-author of the study said.
“So there seems to be something special about unpleasant situations that makes people draw on their hunger feelings more than, say, in pleasant or neutral situations,” lead author Jennifer MacCormack explained.
So guys, be careful not to let your girlfriend feel hungry, or else you’ll be the one who is going to suffer her mood swings later on. XD