Family Law Blog

“Hangry?” You Might Want to Avoid a Conversation with Your Spouse

Friday, April 18, 2014

We’ve all experienced it at some point. When you're hungry, your irritability and anger levels simply skyrocket. Those high levels of anger when you're hungry actually have a new name - “hangry.” According to new research, such hunger-induced irritability could also lead to marital conflict.

The researchers evaluated a group of married couples, and followed them over 21 days, during which time the couples’ blood glucose levels were monitored every night. They found that blood glucose levels were actually a very clear indicator of how angry the person would be with their spouse. Persons with low blood glucose levels- an indication that they were very hungry and needed a meal - were much more likely to be hostile with their spouse.

The researchers actually found that there was a link between low blood glucose level and aggression. In other words, it is highly likely that low blood glucose levels are linked to marital conflict, and contribute to domestic violence incidents. The researchers measured aggression by giving the subjects voodoo dolls representing their spouse, and asking them to stick pins in their dolls. The lower the blood glucose levels, the higher the number of pins that the subjects stuck into their dolls.

Sometimes, marital conflict or even an incident of domestic aggression may simply be the result of a body that is starved for fuel. Glucose fuels the brain, and when there's a shortage of glucose supply to the brain, there is a risk of not just aggression, but also irritability.

All in all, it’s just not sensible to pick up an argument with your spouse around meal times.