Chocolate craving when depressed: a personality marker

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 28 March 2008

Citation

(2008), "Chocolate craving when depressed: a personality marker", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 38 No. 2. https://doi.org/10.1108/nfs.2008.01738bab.012

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Chocolate craving when depressed: a personality marker

Article Type: Food facts From: Nutrition

People who crave chocolate when they are depressed are more likely to have a "neurotic" than an "introverted" type of personality, a new study from Australia has found. Over half of the depressed people surveyed reported food cravings, nearly all of them specifically craving chocolate. More women than men craved chocolate when depressed. Published in the October 2007 issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry, the study examined links between chocolate craving in people who are depressed and both personality style and "atypical" depressive symptoms. Atypical depression is a depressive syndrome combining symptom and personality criteria.

This study investigated the self-reported benefits of chocolate during a depressive episode, and looked to see whether there was any particular type of personality that tended to crave chocolate to alleviate symptoms. Further analysis showed that irritability and rejection sensitivity were the only two significant predictors of chocolate craving. Those identified as chocolate cravers had higher scores for appetite increase, weight gain, sensitivity to rejection, oversleeping, and limbs feeling "heavy like lead". The simple question of depression-associated chocolate craving appeared to be associated with atypical depression symptoms.

For further information contact Prof Gordon Parker E-mail: g.parker@unsw.edu.au