In an age of electronic navel gazing, when people blog about their every emotion, the hunger-mood connection has been able to be fully expressed and, one might say, feed on itself. Thousands have told their cranky hunger stories online, from a famished driver who admitted to cursing at other motorists, to a woman who wrote that her honeymoon might have been an affair to forget had she not packed snacks.I mean, I can't complain if this is their methodology. My main methodology is to read the NYT and find things to talk about. And then I can weave in some bloggish critique of the dreaded MSM.
But about this new social trend of adults excusing themselves for the babyish weakness of losing control when hungry:
A new vocabulary has evolved around victual despair, with the afflicted referring to their nasty moods as "food swings." Those who say their hunger frequently morphs into anger describe themselves as "hangry." And the word "hunger" itself seems to have taken on new meaning. No longer merely a physiological state, it is now also thought of as a mood....Oh, lord, these people sound annoying. Do you have a cute slang term for getting cranky when people impose too much information about their private physical needs on you? (And do you have a cute slang term for getting cranky at the gratuitous mention of squirrels?)
Some people use their hunger as a verbal Get Out of Jail Free card. "Maybe I kind of enjoy the excuse to be cranky," said Fernanda Gilligan, a 28-year-old photo editor from Manhattan.
Yet many mercurial eaters do not stop at words. They try to control hunger-provoked dramas by scheduling their lives around their next meal. They stock drawers, purses and briefcases as if they were kitchen cupboards to ensure that sustenance is always within reach. For some, a granola bar has become as essential as a cellphone.
Anna Yarbrough, 26, a teacher in Boston, squirrels away nibble-friendly fare like string cheese, pretzels, apples and trail mix in her purse and desk drawer. If she and her husband have late dinner reservations, she snacks beforehand. A recent trip to a Celtics game required eating before tipoff and again when she got home. On her wedding day in October she was relieved to learn that there would be food at the hair salon.
Finally, there's the male-female angle:
In general men do not seem to suffer hunger-related moods as frequently as women do, or at least they are not as likely to admit it...."Cranky-pants"? Banana? I find that imagery distracting. But anyway, what's wrong with these people? It's one thing to get hungry and to deal with it by eating something, but it's quite another to make a conspicuous production out of it or, worse, to let it become a major issue in your love relationships. And to have your mother tell your husband how to care for you in the very way you'd care for a toddler? Is this really what's going on around America in 2005?
But why would more women than men be afflicted? "Offhand I can't think of any good, sound biological reason," Dr. Saltzman said. He speculated that the people who say they have food swings are eating smaller meals and therefore need to eat more frequently or that "psychologically they may have a lower threshold" for hunger.
Lisa Sasson, a clinical assistant professor in New York University's department of nutrition, food studies and public health, said weight consciousness might explain why more women report hunger-related moodiness.....
Dr. Saltzman said food swings may be harder to conquer if they are based not on physical hunger but on "emotional hunger," which is triggered by stress, sadness, depression or even boredom. Emotional hunger is harder to satisfy, he said, because "you can eat and overeat and still not feel sated."
[Blogger] Cherie Millns [writes] "My mother told my husband before we got married to make sure he always carried a banana with him, in case of a sudden cranky-pants emergency," Ms. Millns wrote. "It might just save his life."