Food and Behaviour Research

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14 April 2014 - The Independent - Spoiling for a row? Then check your sugar levels

by Steve Connor, Science Editor

Couples more likely to have angry rows when hungry, says voodoo-doll test.

Low levels of blood sugar can increase the risk of a niggling irritation with your partner turning into a blazing row according to a study suggesting a physiological basis for marital disharmony.

Scientists have found that glucose levels in the blood can accurately predict whether someone is likely to feel angry enough with their spouse to secretly stick pins in a voodoo doll meant to represent them in psychological tests.

People with low glucose levels were also more likely than individuals with high levels to blast their partners with loud noise if they had just competed against them in a game, according to a second experiment.

The findings support the widely held belief that hungry people are more likely than well fed individuals to be angry. They also provide a scientific basis for suggesting that food and diet may play an important role in aggressive tendencies in certain social situations where people spend a time together, whether at home, in schools or in prisons.