A new study has shown that people actually become extremely irritable when hungry, after identifying the direct impact on anger and our general emotions.
The study, the first of its kind, suggests that hungry people often report variations in anger and irritability of up to nearly 40 percent.
The study, which was published in PLoS Onesuggests that understanding what causes emotions is the biggest step to stopping them.
“Our study is the first to examine the sensation of being hungry outside of a laboratory. By following people in their daily lives, we found that hunger was linked to levels of anger, irritability and pleasure,” said lead author Viren Swami.
Hunger and its direct impact on our anger and general emotions
“Although our study does not show ways to mitigate the negative emotions induced by hunger, research suggests that being able to label an emotion can help people regulate it, such as by recognizing that we feel angry simply because we are hungry Therefore, a greater awareness of being hungry may reduce the likelihood that hunger will result in negative emotions and behaviors.”
Researchers at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) took 64 participants over a 21-day period and had them report their feelings and hunger levels at five points throughout the day.
The responses were then compared to look for correlations between hunger and any particular emotions they might have been feeling at those times.
The relationship between hunger and negative emotions
The results showed that during their self-reported periods of hunger, participants felt angrier and more irritated, while experiencing less pleasure, they write IFL Science.
Specifically, hunger was directly related to 37% of the variance in irritability, 34% of the variance in anger, and 38% of the variance in pleasure. Combined, the results support the notion of being “hungry,” marking a definitive impact of food on mood.
“Many of us are aware that being hungry can influence our emotions, but surprisingly little scientific research has focused on this fact,” said Swami.
The relationship between hunger and negative emotions was clear even when confounding factors were taken into account. However, there were some limitations to the study, including the fact that it did not actually contextualize every emotion and considered only a few types of emotions.