Hanger a genuine human emotion, say scientists

According to a scientist, hanger is in fact a real emotion that is triggered by our body's physical response to craving food.

There are times when you are so hungry that you can begin to feel an intense rage swelling up inside you.

While many assume that the term ‘hanger’ which describes such a state is a slang coined to juxtapose hunger and anger,

According to a scientist, “hanger” is in fact a real emotion that is triggered by our body’s physical response to craving food.

Speaking about it, Sophie Medlin, a lecturer in nutrition and dietetics from King’s College, London, outlined the connection between hunger and anger.

“We’ve long recognised that hunger leads to irritability in science,” she said during a recent episode of Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4.

She went on to add, “But the wonderful world of social media has merged the two words for us and now we know it as ‘hanger’. When our blood sugars drop, cortisol and adrenaline rise up in our bodies - our fight or flight hormones.”

Medlin added that the release of these hormones can in turn affect the brain, due to the secretion of neuropeptides that control the brain’s chemicals.

Furthermore, reduced levels of glucose in the brain, which occurs when we’re feeling hungry, can make it difficult for us to have control over our emotions and ability to concentrate.

In January, it was announced that the word “hangry” had officially been added to the Oxford English Dictionary.

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