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 NEXT ON HEALTH24X What energy drink in SA is the worst for you? 2018-07-15 00:00 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 Medical Cancer survivor receives new tongue made from her leg – and the first thing she eats is KFC Medical Sub-Saharan Africa makes most progress against HIV – UNAIDS Diet and nutrition The kind of scary things that can happen to your body when you eat gluten Medical 7 things never to say to an incontinence sufferer Medical Toxic plant causes mysterious burns on teen's face Diet and nutrition A dietitian explains how to read food labels From our sponsors Tell-tale signs you need a mattress upgrade Keen to win a R2 000 voucher? Good health begins in your gastrointestinal tract ACC 200 works fast to break down mucus Live healthier Contraceptives and you » Scientists create new contraceptive from seaweed Poor long-term birth control training leads to 'accidents' 7 birth control myths you should stop believing Will the Pill make you gain weight? Can you fall pregnant while breastfeeding? We bust seven common myths about birth control. Your digestive health » Causes of digestive disorders 9 habits that could hurt your digestive system Your tummy rumblings might help diagnose bowel disorder With the assistance of an 'acoustic belt', doctors can now determine the cause of your tummy troubles.