The Washington PostThe Washington Post

When hungry and angry collide, the hanger is real

By Mary Beth Albright

13 Dec 2022 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

It turns out you might be able to blame your "hanger" on evolution. The Washington Post breaks down the science behind the phenomenon.

Some swear that hanger, the intense anger or uncomfortable emotions that can come with being hungry, is real. Some people say it's all in your head. It turns out, they both may be right.

What we eat, or don't eat, affects our brains and emotions in ways researchers are just starting to understand. Several studies, including a small one from Britain, have found that feeling hungry in your belly is associated with negative-feeling emotions. Research from the past decade increasingly shows that food can change emotional states, and influence behavior and decision-making.

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