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Study: Why snacking might help save your marriage

An example of an all-purpose voodoo doll used in an Ohio State University study seeking to study glucose levels and their potential relation to spousal anger. (Credit: Ohio State University)

An example of an all-purpose voodoo doll used in an Ohio State University study seeking to study glucose levels and their potential relation to spousal anger. (Credit: Ohio State University)

COLUMBUS, Ohio. — A new study is leading researchers to believe that low levels of blood sugar may be a major culprit in starting marital arguments.

Low blood sugar levels have often been colloquially linked to the social phenomenon known as “hangry” – a combination of hungry and angry. A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal has provided some scientific backing to the notion.

The findings of a group of researchers from Ohio State University suggest that grabbing a quick snack on occasion could potentially save your marriage.

In a survey that examined more than 100 married couples for three weeks, researchers asked participants to stick pins in a voodoo doll to indicate their levels of aggressive feelings while monitoring their blood sugar levels.

The study’s lead author, psychology researcher Brad Bushman, said his group’s findings were statically significant: The lower the blood sugar level, the more pins participants pushed into the doll. In fact, study participants with the lowest blood sugar levels scores pushed in twice as many pins as those with the highest levels.

The findings seemed to support Bushman’s initial hypothesis about glucose levels.

“We need glucose for self-control,” Bushman wrote. “And anger is the emotion that people seem to have the most difficulty controlling.”