Chocolate craving and the menstrual cycle

Appetite. 2004 Feb;42(1):119-21. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2003.11.004.


Spanish and American female chocolate cravers reported the usual times when they craved chocolate by answering an open-ended question. They also were asked directly if they craved chocolate perimenstrually. American women (40% open-ended, 60% direct) were more likely than were Spanish women (4% open-ended, 24% direct) to report that their chocolate cravings occurred perimenstrually when responding to both questions. The most frequently reported times (other than perimenstrually) that chocolate was craved were the same for Spanish men and women (after eating, studying) and for American men and women (evening), differing cross-culturally but not across gender. The results suggest a cultural origin rather than a physiological basis for chocolate craving.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cacao*
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Female
  • Food Preferences* / ethnology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Menstrual Cycle / physiology*
  • Sex Factors
  • Spain
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States