Feeling hangry? Science says that this is why it happens

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  • Finally, there's proof that it's a thing

    It happens all too often – you’ve got work deadlines, it’s already 4pm and you haven’t had the chance to nip to Tesco for your meal deal. Suddenly, you’re furious and starving at the same time. Welcome to the world of hanger.

    But why does it happen? And is it even a real thing?

    The answer is yes, and scientists are looking into exactly what’s behind it (take that, naysayers).

    Jennifer MacCormack is the author of a study which looks into hunger and how it affects and impacts our mood. One thing that it deals with is that all-too-familiar hanger. Jennifer and her team of experts conducted various studies to delve a little deeper and try to understand what happens to our minds and bodies when it strikes.

    In an article published in Emotion, Jennifer said: ‘It’s generally accepted that hunger can impact our moods and even behaviours like aggression and impulsivity.

    ‘But we still don’t know much about the psychological mechanisms that transform hunger into feeling hangry.’

    So while it has been proven that feeling hangry is a genuine mood, no one is quite sure why exactly it happens. However, the experiments did recognise that there can be an instant change between hunger and hanger.

    Co-author Kristen Lindquist said: ‘Despite the colloquial term ‘hanger,’ we found that this effect was not specific to anger.

    ‘People in our studies were more likely to feel intense negativity in general when they were hungry and something bad happened—suggesting that feeling hungry can turn up the dial on lots of negative emotions such as anger, stress or disgust.’

    See? Even the pros are saying it’s a thing. So the next time you snap at your poor colleague because you didn’t have time to eat breakfast, just show them this and we’re sure they’ll understand. Maybe.

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