In a recent fight with a partner or spouse over the smallest of details? Might as well check the blood sugar levels of each other, a recent study says. It turns out the argument may just need a few kick of carbs to pacify the anger.
A study, titled Low glucose relates to greater aggression in married couples and conducted by Brad Bushman, Richard Pond, Jr., Nathan DeWall and Michael Hanus, reveals that it takes energy for people to keep their control. It also said that when couples, or one of them, are hungry, they have lesser self-control and can become more aggressive toward each other.
"Self-control of aggressive impulses requires energy, and much of this energy is provided by glucose derived from the food we eat," the study states.
To come up with such findings, the researchers measured the glucose levels of 107 married heterosexual couples for 21 days. The participating couples have been married for 12 years or so.
Every night each of the participants must stick zero to 51 pins into a voodoo doll that signified the spouse, which depends on how mad they were toward the other, so that the researchers can measure the aggressive impulses. Participants have also been told to compete with their spouse and blast loud noise to their spouse through the headphones to further measure aggression. The results show that participants with lower levels of glucose pinned more into the doll representation and also blasted their spouse with much longer and louder noise.
"As expected, the lower the level of glucose in the blood, the greater number of pins participants stuck into the voodoo doll, and the higher intensity and longer duration of noise participants set for their spouse," the study says.
Other research also displays evidences that people with symptoms of diabetes are perceived to be more aggressive and less forgiving than the others who don't have the signs of the disease.
The study also notes that oftentimes people exude aggression most to the people they are closest with, which is their intimate partner. Unfortunately, intimate partner violence is a huge problem that affects millions of people worldwide.
While marriage counseling is the normal intervention in most couples suffering from physical and verbal abuse, keeping your sugar and stomach in check may also help.
"It's simple advice but it works: Before you have a difficult conversation with your spouse, make sure you're not hungry," said Bushman in a statement.
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published the said study on April 14, 2014. The National Science Foundation funded the said research.