Home > Diet and nutrition > News Updated 14 November 2013 Hungry people are more charitable Research shows that people who are hungry are more inclined to be supportive of the welfare state and help the poor. 0 iStock Related UN says eradicating hunger is possible Feast and famine in South Africa 1 in 8 people around the world goes hungry Vit & Min doses per day » Count calories in food » Is my vegetarian diet balanced? » Ask The Dietitians » 10 foods to boost your immune system Your quick guide to Banting Since the Age of Enlightenment we have believed that people make up their minds about politics by considering their options carefully and weighing the pros and cons. Whether you are hungry should not make a difference. Nonetheless, research now shows that people who are hungry are more inclined to be supportive of the welfare state and help the poor.“We asked a group of test subjects to fast for four hours after which we gave them a Sprite or a sugar free Sprite Zero. One group had high blood sugar levels, while the other group had low blood sugar,” explains Assistant Professor Lene Aarøe from Aarhus University, who collaborates on the project with her colleague Michael Bang Petersen.“The results show that the group with low blood sugar levels were more inclined to support a left-wing welfare policy than the group with high blood sugar counts. This challenges the traditional notion of what influences us when we take a stance on questions such as modern welfare,” says Aarøe.Securing enough foodThe extraordinary results suggest that the state of our bodies has a significant influence on our position on specific political issues. In order to understand why, we must look to the origin of our species. Politics also existed in the communities of our ancestors, the hunters and gatherers who roamed the East African savannah, and their ways of handling things have left a mark on us today.“Over the course of human evolutionary history, a critical issue has always been to secure enough food. We human animals, who live in groups and are exceptionally skilled at managing social situations, always have one extraordinary option if the hunt should fail: we can ask the more fortunate people to share their spoils with us. And if we are we to believe a number of anthropological studies, this is precisely what people do across the globe,” says Petersen and proceeds:“The point is that our political opinions are determined by rationality, but it is a rational impulse that has been passed on to us from our ancestors.”A hidden agendaThe welfare system is a system of sharing, a contemporary equivalent to the custom of our ancestors. But when hungry people are more inclined to support the welfare system it is not so much a reflection of their concern for the poor; it is rather a strategy for securing further resources for themselves.These are the results of a supplementary survey in which Aarøe and Petersen first asked the test subjects to state their position regarding the welfare state – and then they gave them money, which they could choose to keep for themselves or share with a fellow test subject. Despite the fact that the hungry subjects had just confirmed the importance of helping others, which is indeed characteristic of the welfare state, they were no more inclined to share their loot with others when given the chance. EurekAlert More in Diet and nutrition Mediterranean diet may help prevent macular degeneration More: Diet and nutritionNews advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 0 comments Comments have been closed for this article. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... Other news Sex US STIs hit all-time high in 2015 Medical Human right-handedness might go back almost 2 million years Mental health Troubled childhood may boost bipolar risk Diet and nutrition Our genes may soon advise our food and lifestyle choices Lifestyle Which skin products are better, ‘medical grade’ or ‘over-the-counter’? Medical Don't believe these asthma myths From our sponsors Keep an eye on your vision Which skin products are better, ‘medical grade’ or ‘over-the-counter’? Win 1 of 6 R5000 cash prizes Win Skin Renewal voucher Live healthier Exercise benefits for seniors » Working out in the concrete jungle Even a little exercise may help prevent dementia Here’s an unexpected way to boost your memory: running Seniors who exercise recover more quickly from injury or illness When sedentary older adults got into an exercise routine, it curbed their risk of suffering a disabling injury or illness and helped them recover if anything did happen to them. No relief for MS » Drug shows promise against MS in mouse study Vitamin D may slow multiple sclerosis Obesity in girls tied to higher MS risk Exercise may not lower women's risk of MS A Harvard study showed no evidence to support the idea that exercise lowers the risk of multiple sclerosis.