Chocolate cravings in American and Spanish individuals:
Biological and cultural influences

by
Osman JL, Sobal J.
Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University,
MVR Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
Appetite. 2006 Jul 8;


ABSTRACT

This study investigated relationships of culture and physiology with chocolate cravings. Gender differences in chocolate cravings in Spaniards and Americans were examined using parallel Spanish- and English-version questionnaires administered to 259 undergraduate students at one university in Spain and 306 at one university in the US. Responses were examined separately for men and women in American and Spanish samples using multivariate analyses to control for variables like chocolate availability and cultural involvement (which was described by country of birth, years spent in that country, media use, and cultural identification). Chocolate was the most craved food among all Spanish students, but only female American students. A total of 91% of American women and 59% of American men reported chocolate cravings, and this significant difference persisted when controlling for American cultural involvement. In contrast, 90% of Spanish women versus 78% of Spanish men reported chocolate cravings, but the gender difference was no longer significant when controlling for Spanish cultural involvement. These results do not reject a role of physiology in chocolate cravings, but suggest that American culture encourages disproportionately more chocolate cravings among females than males, and that globalization may have led to a similar craving pattern among Spaniards, although gender differences in cravings are less clear-cut than they are in the US.

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