NEW YORK — The average American will experience symptoms of “hanger” almost every day of their lives. A recent survey of 2,000 U.S. adults shows that three-fourths (74%) admit their hunger gets the best of them five times a week, culminating in an astounding 21,000+ “hangry” outbursts over the course of their lives.
People most commonly experience “hanger” as feelings of anger, grumpiness, impatience, and fatigue. Regionally, the Northeast is the “hangriest” of all, with 46 percent saying they “always” or “often” experience this feeling. Nationwide, men are less likely to be “hangry” than women, with 32 percent saying they have never experienced “hanger,” as opposed to only 20 percent of women.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Farm Rich, the survey also finds the most common reasons for people’s hunger-related irritability, including mealtime delays (44%), a busy work schedule (37%) – a number that rose to 44 percent amongst millennials. Respondents also cite never knowing what to cook (32%) and not having time to grocery shop (29%).
“Hanger” is most frequently experienced at home (41%), but people’s crankiness seems to follow them to work (35%), when they’re shopping (34%), while running errands (33%), and while traveling (33%).
Perhaps to no one’s surprise, adults with small kids are the “hangriest” of all — 42 percent of people with kids under four identify as frequently “hangry.” Overall, 39 percent of parents admit to chowing down on their kids’ snacks to help ease their hunger pangs. Nearly seven in 10 (68%) parents are willing to let their kids eat whatever they want if it will stop them from having a “hangry” tantrum.
Approach a hangry person with caution!
Approaching someone who’s hungry and irritable? Americans say this is what you need to know: avoid talking too much (42%) and please don’t try to remove someone’s plate before they’re finished (38%).
Fifty-eight percent of those who are “food grumpy” will even eat their least favorite food just to satisfy their cravings and 42 percent admit to eating leftovers they knew their significant other or roommate was saving for themselves. Meanwhile, in true George Costanza style, 28 percent shockingly share that they’ve eaten food that’s been thrown into the garbage can, while 27 percent copped to eating expired food.
Meghan Ozamiz, Director of Marketing for Farm Rich, says the new national survey seemed to really strike a chord with its respondents.
“There are many reasons our moods can be affected by food and this poll shows us a lot of them. Also, we saw that snacks remain important, with more than half the respondents (56%) saying they try to always keep snacks on hand or fuel up with small meals throughout the day (55%),” Ozamiz says in a statement.
Don’t shop while hungry!
When it comes to hot snacks vs. cold, the results are about even. Slightly more than half of those surveyed (52%) say “a hot, savory snack is more satiating than a cold one.”
There’s also a science behind hunger-related mood swings that’s connected to our blood sugar levels. Snacks like fruit, dried fruit, nuts, and nut butters require minimal prep and can help restore one’s emotional balance while managing blood sugar levels.
If you’re having trouble getting over “the hump” on Wednesdays, hunger may be to blame – a third of those who get irritable say they’re likely to experience this emotion mid-week. The cause? More than half of the adults surveyed (53%) attribute it to skipping meals, with not eating on time being another big culprit (48%).
Not surprisingly, grocery shopping while “hangry” often results in impulse buys and big checkout receipts. The majority of those surveyed confessed to spending $51 to $100 more during a trip to the store. Among the top impulse food buys are the four Cs: cheese, chips, chocolate, and cookies.