WASHINGTON – A quick candy bar may stave off more than hunger. It could prevent major fights between husbands and wives, at least if a new study that used voodoo dolls is right.
That’s because low blood sugar can make spouses touchy, researchers propose. In fact, it can make them hangry, a combination of hungry and angry, said Ohio State University psychology researcher Brad Bushman.
We need glucose for self-control, said Bushman, lead author of the study, which was released Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Anger is the emotion that most people have difficulty controlling.
The researchers studied 107 married couples for three weeks. Each night, they measured their levels of the blood sugar glucose and asked each participant to stick pins in a voodoo doll representing his or her spouse. That indicated levels of aggression.
The researchers found that the lower the blood sugar levels, the more pins were pushed into the doll. People with the lowest scores pushed in twice as many pins as those with the highest blood sugar levels, the researchers said.
The average for the whole study was a bit more than one pin a night per person.