A paper by scientists at UCL suggests that the risks we take are linked to how hungry we are. The interesting part aspect of the study is that it suggests that how hungry we are affects our general decision-making – not just decisions relating to food.
In particular, as “energy reserves” rise above the baseline (i.e. after having a meal), people become more averse to taking risks. This potentially has many implications: for example, do our hunger levels affect the risks we take when driving?
The study also suggests greater risk-seeking behaviour in obese individuals. Perhaps another risk of obesity might be road traffic accidents? I await the Daily Mail’s inclusion of this exciting speculation with relish.
The research paper, “Metabolic State Alters Economic Decision Making under Risk in Humans” is available here: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0011090