Gender differences in the relation between food cravings and mood in an adult community: Results from the fleurbaix laventie ville santé study

Int J Eat Disord. 2001 Mar;29(2):195-204. doi: 10.1002/1098-108x(200103)29:2<195::aid-eat1009>;2-n.


Objective: The aim of this survey was to study food cravings and its indulgence in community adults (538 women and 506 men) and to compare nutritional parameters, weight preoccupations, and weight history between cravers and noncravers.

Method: Cravers experienced a strong urge to eat specific foods more than once a week during the past 6 months. Food intake was estimated by a 3-day food record.

Results: 28% of women and 13% of men were food cravers. Cravers, especially women, were more frequently concerned about their weight than noncravers. Energy intake during snacks was higher in cravers. Less than 40% of cravers reported being hungry when they experienced cravings. Women cravers indulged their cravings as often as men. They reported more frequently negative feelings, whereas men reported more frequently positive feelings.

Discussion: This study shows that food craving episodes are strongly associated with mood but in a different way in women and men.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Female
  • Food*
  • Gender Identity*
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior / psychology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Sex Factors