(Telegraph) Hungry, ratty, angry: you must be ‘hangry’
By Nilufer Atik 1:00PM GMT 27 Feb 2015
Are you prone to making bad or rash decisions? Do you sometimes struggle to think clearly? You could be suffering from a new affliction
Researchers have discovered that being hungry and angry at the same time – “hangry” is the newly coined term – can drastically affect our decision-making skills. So much so that we are 62 per cent more likely to get things wrong.
The study, led by food psychologist Dr Christy Fergusson and commissioned by malt loaf makers Soreen, involved a series of clinical trials conducted on a group of men and women between their early 20s and mid-60s. The aim was to find out what makes people angry when they are hungry and how this affects cognitive function.
Initially, less than a third, 27 per cent, of participants who had gone for at least four hours without food managed to find the correct solutions to the problems. But after the snack break almost half, 48 per cent, could. Only 129 out of 480 questions were answered correctly while participants were hungry – compared with 231 questions while not hungry. Interestingly, female participants were found to respond best on a fuller stomach, with a 30 per cent improvement in their ability to make decisions after satisfying their hunger. Among men, this figure was 10 per cent.
The groups were also asked to rate their levels of irritation both before and after eating. Post-food, levels of annoyance dropped by 40 per cent. The participants also reported feeling calmer, happier, and more cooperative.
The findings back up the theory that a low level of blood sugar not only brings on mood swings, but can also cause even the most rational people to lose their ability to think clearly, meaning they might make rash and sometimes risky decisions.