Twisted: Unserious food tastes seriously good.

Scientists confirm, getting ‘hangry’ is officially a real thing

08/07/2022

Twisted: Unserious food tastes seriously good.

Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman

05m read

Article saved!Article saved!

We’ve all got experience of feeling ‘hangry’, right? You know when you’re waiting for food and you just wanna snap at anybody who has the misfortune of crossing your path?

Truth be told, we always thought it was a bit of a made up phenomenon – an excuse we’ve all made for being a bit of an arsehole when our stomachs are grumbling.

But apparently, scientists have now discovered that feeling ‘hangry’ is actually an official thing, which makes us feel so much better about any aggy comments we might have made whilst food was on the way.

hungry woman

There’s a reason that small plate of food is making you miserable and grumpy (Credit: Alamy)

According to research from the UK’s Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) and Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences in Austria, hunger is associated with low levels of pleasure.

The experts say this goes some way to explaining why we get hangry – aka, hungry and angry.

Lead author Viren Swami, professor of social psychology at ARU, said: “Many of us are aware that being hungry can influence our emotions, but surprisingly little scientific research has focused on being ‘hangry’.

“Ours is the first study to examine being ‘hangry’ outside of a lab.”

hungry person angry

Sorry for what I said when I was hangry (Credit: Alamy)

The team conducted the research by following people outside of a lab setting as they went about the daily lives.

With a small pool of 64 participants from central Europe, scientists measured levels of hunger and various other aspects of their wellbeing over 21 days, asking them to report their feelings on smartphones five times a day.

They found that hunger was often linked to stronger feelings of frustration or anger, and a low pleasure rating.

What’s more, even when taking into account different ages, sex, dietary behaviour, BMI and personality traits, it was found that the link between both day-to-day and residual hunger and anger was undeniable.

hungry person angry

Lack of food was linked to irritability and unpleasantness (Credit: Alamy)

“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.

“Therefore, greater awareness of being ‘hangry’ could reduce the likelihood that hunger results in negative emotions and behaviours in individuals,” the researcher adds.

Findings from the study were reported in Plus One journal.

So, there you have it, next time you get a bit ratty when waiting for your dinner, just remember, it’s science.

If that’s not an excuse, we don’t know what is…

saved! saved!