Food liking and craving: A cross-cultural approach

Appetite. 1999 Aug;33(1):61-70. doi: 10.1006/appe.1999.0234.


Spanish and American participants rated how much they liked three common sweets and three common beverages listed on a questionnaire. They also named the food or drink for which they had the strongest craving. Cross-cultural comparisons in liking were almost always consistent with cross-cultural comparisons in rates of exposure. In both cultures, among subjects whose cravings could be so classified more females (about 5/8) craved sweet foods than savories and more males (about 5/8) craved savories than sweets. Among sweet cravers, chocolate craving was much more frequent for American females (44.6%) than for American males (17.4%), but no such gender difference occurred for the Spaniards (28.6 and 22.2%). The results argue for a possible physiological basis for the gender differences in sweet/savory craving but against a physiological basis for chocolate craving.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Beverages
  • Cacao
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Female
  • Food Preferences / ethnology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reference Values
  • Sex Factors
  • Spain
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States