WAIT for it - the world has gone mad.

The stress of ordering and waiting for a takeaway has been identified as an actual condition, according to university researchers.

And thanks to the the University of Wolverhampton, it even has a name - takeaway trauma.

No, it isn't April 1. It would seem - if the university's study is to be believed - that human beings are so fragile in the 21st Century, the mere act of ordering food in gets us stressed.

It needs to be pointed out that the research was done in cahoots with pizza firm Chicago Town, so there is a level of industry promotion involved here.

But an experiment as part of the study found the average heart rate increased from a baseline 70bpm (beats per minute) to 87bpm in the period after the ordering of a pizza, while tense arousal scores - or stress levels - increased with the length of time participants waited for an order.

The experiment by the University’s biomedical sciences department involved participants ordering and waiting for a takeaway pizza while wearing heart rate monitors to measure pulse fluctuations, as well as monitoring stress levels using something called a psychometric questionnaire.

Sounds complicated. Perhaps these methods should be mandatory for all takeaway food ordering - then maybe we might find the prospect of preparing our own food more often, more enticing.

Life is increasingly stressful for many of us, particularly those who do not make enough time for basic essentials like observing regular meal times and taking meaningful work breaks.

More and more, it seems, observing such key routines is seen as a weakness, or an indulgence. We must all do more. More of what is open to question, but 'doing stuff' is the be-all and end-all these days.

In this climate, the takeaway has a crucial role to play in carving out a break time, time to spend relaxing, with family and friends.

It is meant to be a convenience. Someone else does the cooking and delivering, so you can just eat. Getting stressed about the process renders it pointless.

If this study - as flippant on the surface as it seems - is right, then perhaps we as a species really are doomed.