According to a new study published online in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, low glucose levels can lead to greater aggression in married couples — in other words, that fight you had with your significant other may have been a result of hunger. File this one under "news you already knew."
Researchers measured married couples' aggressive impulses and aggressive actions, and compared them with glucose levels. How were these impulses and aggressive actions measured? With voodoo dolls and loud music, of course! From the study's abstract:
To measure aggressive impulses, participants stuck 0–51 pins into a voodoo doll that represented their spouse each night, depending how angry they were with their spouse. To measure aggression, participants blasted their spouse with loud noise through headphones. Participants who had lower glucose levels stuck more pins into the voodoo doll and blasted their spouse with louder and longer noise blasts.
So when you're hungry, you may be more likely to be angry. Which, as even the study's lead researcher admitted to USA Today, can be a problem even if you intuitively know this to be the case:
Lead researcher Brad Bushman of Ohio State University said his own marriage has improved since he took his study's advice: "When you discuss a sensitive topic with your spouse, you should do so over dinner, or better yet after dinner – but you should definitely not do it on an empty stomach."
That's healthy advice for everyone, whether you're married or not. Before you get angry at someone you care about, ask yourself if you're actually just hangry.
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