How to be a Less Hangry Person



(NiceNews) — Most of us are familiar with the concept of “hanger” — when we get so hungry that we become emotional and often angry. Though it’s a common phenomenon (and one that has undoubtedly caused many fights over where to get dinner), it’s not known exactly why it happens.

A recent study conducted by University College London researchers began to unravel the connection between hunger and the brain, finding that, in mice, a hunger hormone produced in the gut had a direct impact on the hippocampus. “The hippocampus — which is a part of the brain really important for using our memories to make decisions — can actually respond to hunger hormones directly, and this allows the hippocampus to control our decisions based on how hungry we are,” lead author Andrew MacAskill told Newsweek.

He explained that the part of the hippocampus they focused on is also “highly involved in emotion,” which could explain why we get hangry. The main takeaway, though, is that hunger can alter how we learn. The team said the research could have applications in preventing and treating eating disorders, as well as in studying memory-related conditions like dementia.

“Realizing that hunger can directly influence the way we learn is really important for understanding how our learning and memory can go wrong, for example, in mental illness or in Alzheimer’s disease, where previously hunger signaling was not really thought about,” said MacAskill. “Maybe by including hunger in how we think about these problems we can find better ways to treat them.”

Tips for Hanger Management