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Don’t make a business decision while hungry

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Fill up: All business decisions should be made on a full stomach

Fill up: All business decisions should be made on a full stomach

PEOPLE who make decisions on an empty stomach are nearly twice as likely to make the wrong one compared to people who have eaten, claims research published last week. In clinical trials, 62% of adults got more decisions wrong when they were hungry than when they were not. Less than a third (27%) of participants who had gone for at least four hours without food managed to find the correct solution to a problem. But after eating a well-balanced meal, nearly half (48%) were able to make the right decision, according to researchers.

The study, commissioned by malt loaf makers Soreen, backs up claims that low levels of blood sugar can cause the most rational people to lose their ability to think clearly, and make impulsive and sometimes risky decisions. The research also found that hunger pangs can significantly increase feelings of irritation and anger, which can also adversely affect concentration. The phenomenon has recently been dubbed ‘hangry’ – or hungry and angry at the same time. In the Soreen study hungry participants were found to have a much lower tolerance to everyday irritations, such as the sound of a mobile phone ringing, baby crying or someone repeatedly sniffing.

However, a well-balanced snack was enough to decrease participants’ irritation levels by as much as 40%, the research found. Food psychologist, Dr Christy Fergusson, who conducted the trials, explained:”We all know it takes brain power to make important decisions, so it makes sense that to think clearly we need to keep our brain fuelled. Glucose is virtually the only fuel source for your brain (except during prolonged starvation). But what many people don’t realise is their brain can’t store glucose. This means that regardless of how much you eat, four hours later your brain will need a fresh supply of fuel to keep it running smoothly.

As this research proves, if we haven’t eaten for four hours our poor brains can really struggle to make decisions. But that’s not all. This drop in our blood glucose levels not only affects our ability to think straight, it also sky-rockets our irritation levels.” For the study, male and female participants aged 17 to 70 were given five minutes to complete ten brainteasers, first while feeling hungry and then after eating a filling snack. An everyday noise was also played loudly during the exercise, and participants’ irritation levels and heart rates were recorded.

Women were found to get more irritated by the sound of a mobile phone ringing, while men were more bothered by repeated sniffing and a crying baby. Results showed that participants who had gone for at least four hours without eating were much less competent at answering the brain teasers. But when they were no longer hungry, their performance improved by 20 per cent on average, the study found. Only 129 out of 480 questions were answered correctly while participants were hungry – compared to 231 questions whilst not hungry.

Women were found to respond best on a fuller stomach, with a 30 per cent improvement in their ability to make decisions after satisfying their hunger with a well-balanced snack. The heart rates of participants were also slightly higher when they were hungry, which can be linked to stress and anxiety. Managing Director of Soreen, Paul Tripp, who funded the research said:“To avoid a hungry rage you should enjoy a snack of substance that will replenish your glucose stores and keep your brain fuelled. Something like a slice of malt loaf, which has as little as 95 calories and is low in saturated fat, is a great alternative to reaching for a bag of crisps or chocolate The health properties of products containing malt are often overlooked.

Malt is a great, healthy source of natural energy. It’s also high in vitamins, minerals and trace elements too. That’s why Soreen Malt Loaf is a great snack for all today’s hungry, health conscious consumers. By combining this with some good quality protein you can slow the release of the carbohydrate and feel fuller for longer.” This latest study follows research earlier this year which found that low blood sugar levels caused by missing meals may be linked to marital arguments. The research, published in the National Academy of Sciences journal, showed that skipping meals coincided with higher levels of anger. Academics advised couples on the verge of a row to pause and eat a sugary snack.

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Health

Give someone “the best gift” this Christmas by giving blood in West Wales

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A MOTHER who needed in-the-womb blood transfusions during her pregnancy and a man who depends on regular, lifesaving blood donations are encouraging communities across Wales to give “the best gift” this Christmas by donating blood.

The Welsh Blood Service is preparing to face Winter pressures on its services and is hoping their new Christmas campaign, “the best gift” will raise awareness about the importance of donating blood and the lifesaving difference it makes.

Last December over 900 donations of blood and blood products were needed across Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire to provide care to patients at Prince Philip, Withybush, Bronglais and Glangwili hospital. 

These donations play a vital role by supporting a range of treatments from helping recovering accident victims and patients with blood cancers to supporting mothers and new-born babies during childbirth.

Blood donations were needed during both pregnancies for mother of two, Shelley Parry. After her own life was saved during her first pregnancy, Shelley received several more blood transfusions directly into her womb to keep her youngest daughter alive.

Shelley explains: “Receiving blood is truly the best gift we have ever received. We’re forever indebted as a family to those who have taken the time to donate. Without the generosity of blood donors, quite simply, we wouldn’t be parents. Thanks to their selfless act, we can look forward to Christmas together as a family.

“It only takes one hour of your time to donate, if you can, please consider donating.”

Giggs and his daughter

Also supporting the campaign is blood recipient Giggs Kanias. Since birth, Giggs has received over 1,000 blood transfusions as part of his treatment for beta thalassaemia major, a severe blood disorder. Thanks to blood donors, Giggs is looking forward to celebrating Christmas with his family.

Giggs said: “I am so thankful to the incredible people who give blood. When I’m in hospital, I stare at the bags of blood being transfused into me and always wonder, who is the person that has helped me?

“I know the difference these people have made to my life and I’m so grateful to each and every one of them. Without their generosity, I wouldn’t be here today, I wouldn’t be a dad, or have had the opportunity to see my daughter grow up. Receiving blood is truly the best gift anyone could ever receive.”

Alan Prosser, Director of the Welsh Blood Service, said: “For patients like Giggs, receiving blood will be the best gift they receive this Christmas. It truly is the best gift you can give.

“Blood products have a short shelf life and is needed by hospitals 365 days a year, including Christmas day, to help support patients in need, which is why we can’t stop collecting.”

The Welsh Blood Service provides lifesaving blood products to 20 hospitals across Wales and four Wales Air Ambulance aircraft for use in emergencies.

Alan continues: “It is critical the service prepares. We need to build up blood stocks ahead of a potentially challenging winter, where seasonal illnesses and Covid-19 may exacerbate the usual winter pressures faced by the NHS.

“We are reaching out to communities across Wales to ask them to make a lifesaving blood donation and give “the best gift” this festive season.”

Do something amazing this Christmas. Give someone the best gift. Give blood. If you are aged 17 or over, book to give blood at: www.wbs.wales/Xmas21 or call 0800 252 266 today.

Appointments are available in Pembrokeshire on 7 December and January 6 and 20 in Tenby, 16 December and 27 January in Crymych, 20 December and 17 January in Haverfordwest, 10 January in Letterston Village Hall and 21 January in Milford Haven. 

Appointments are available in Carmarthenshire on 10 December in Pontyberum, 29 December and 13 January in Carmarthen, 28 January in Kidwelly Community Hall, 23 and 24 December and 4, 12 and 25 January in Parc Y Scarlets and 31 January in Llandeilo.

Appointments are available in Ceredigion on 14 December in Newcastle Emlyn, 14 January in Aberaeron and 18 January in Lampeter.

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News

Children are invited to join the festive fun with the Language Charter’s Virtual Welsh Advent Calendar

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Day 1 of the Advent Calendar

SEREN a Sbarc are inviting children in Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire to join the celebration of Christmas with a host of activities through the medium of Welsh.

Daily surprises will be shared on the Shwmae Pembrokeshire Facebook page and Ceredigion Cardi Iaith Facebook page from 1 until 25 December 2021.

A wide range of Welsh language activities will be hiding behind the calendar doors – for example the Cyw Christmas Story and Decorations with Elin Haf Jones a presenter from Ceredigion, a clogging session, poetry and much more.

The virtual advent calendar has been created by Language Charter Leaders in Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion.

Visit www.facebook.com/shwmae (Pembrokeshire) and www.facebook.com/cardiiaith (Ceredigion) to be part of the excitement and remember to share your pictures and videos to spread the festive fun!

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Entertainment

Côr Dyfed to perform Messiah

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Côr Dyfed

A PERFORMANCE of possibly the greatest of all choral works, Handel’s Messiah, is something to look forward to, especially after the hiatus caused by Covid.

This immensely popular work will be sung by Côr Dyfed Choir in St Davids Cathedral on Saturday December 11th at 7pm.

Acting Music Director Luke Spencer will conduct the choir, with four renowned soloists:

Ros Evans, soprano

Ralph Thomas Williams, countertenor

Peter Wilman, tenor

Stephen Hamnett, bass

With the acclaimed British Sinfonietta accompanying, this opportunity to begin celebrating Christmas in spectacular surroundings promises to be a very special occasion.

Tickets: Front Nave £22, Rear Nave £18, Side Aisles £12 unreserved (Under 16 free)

Available online at www.dyfedchoir.co.uk

Telephone Ticket Source 0333 666 3366* or 01348 840312* (Mon – Sat 10am – 1pm)

*All telephone and online ticket purchases subject to a booking fee

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