Most of us know acutely what it means to be “hangry,” or so hungry you decide you’d rather throw the toaster out the window than wait another goddamn minute for crispy bread. But as it turns out, hunger may not only impact our mood and behavior, but also who we’re attracted to (should we call this the state of being “horngry?”).
More specifically, a recent study published in BMC Psychology found that feelings of hunger can impact our aesthetic appreciation, particularly for different types of faces and bodies.
In the study, researchers asked a group of 44 men and women with the average age of 23 to fast for 12 hours. Then, images of two males and two females wearing identical underwear and displayed against a plain background were used as models of different digitally-altered body types, with their faces varying in roundness. The hungry participants were asked to rate how much they liked the images they saw. Next, they were given a snack, and asked to rate the images again.
Overall, the study found that hungry people were more attracted to rounder faces and bodies. The same held true when the experiment was conducted with images of an object, rather than people — i.e., hungry participants still preferred the rounder versions. “It might be that hunger motivates people toward abundance in general, explaining why our participants liked more round stimuli in general, and not only round bodies and faces, when starving than when satiated,” the researchers explained.
So, if you’re still starving waiting for your toast to pop, maybe satiate yourself in the meantime by looking at that big, thicc refrigerator.