Feeling hungry? You are more likely to lash out at your spouse

·Contributing Writer

A new study suggests that missing your afternoon snack may be doing more than just making you grumpy -- it could be causing you marital strife.

Researchers from Ohio State University suggests that hunger, when accompanied by low blood sugar, can cause married couples to act more aggressively towards each other.

"We need glucose for self-control," lead author and psychology professor Brad Bushman tells the Associated Press. "Anger is the emotion that most people have difficulty controlling."

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, looked at 107 married couples over the course of three weeks. Every night, the participants' blood glucose levels were tested and they were asked to put pins into voodoo dolls representing their spouse.

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The researchers believe that the more pins placed, the angrier the spouse was feeling towards their partner.

The results show that about 70 per cent of the time participants didn't put any pins into the doll. But when they did, they stuck more pins into the doll when their glucose levels were on the low side. This relationship held true even after accounting for couples' relationship satisfaction.

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"When they had lower blood glucose, they felt angrier and took it out on the dolls representing their spouse," Bushman says. "Even those who reported they had good relationships with their spouses were more likely to express anger if their blood glucose levels were lower."

The study has been criticized for its methodology. Some psychologists suggest that it would have been more effective to manipulate the participants' glucose levels, and then monitor their acts of aggression towards their partner.

What are your thoughts on the findings of this study? Have you noticed a connection between hunger and aggression towards your partner? Tell us in the comments below.

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