Gender differences in food craving among overweight and obese patients attending low energy diet therapy: a matched case-control study

Eat Weight Disord. 2013 Sep;18(3):297-303. doi: 10.1007/s40519-013-0054-7. Epub 2013 Aug 2.


This case-control study examined gender differences in food craving among a sample of overweight and obese patients attending low energy diet therapy. To disentangle the specific role of gender from the role of confounders, we paired groups for BMI, age and severity of binge eating as assed by the Binge Eating Scale (BES). The participants were 73 pairs of patients who were attending low energy diet therapy. All the participants were administered the State and Trait Food Cravings Questionnaire, trait version (FCQ-T) and the BES. Female patients had higher mean scores on six out of nine dimensions of the FCQ-T. When controlling for the effect of other variables, obese and overweight female patients were 1.1 times more likely to report higher anticipation of relief of negative states and feelings from eating than their male pairs. Obese and overweight female patients experience more cravings for food than their male pairs despite comparable severity of binge eating and obesity suggesting the need for tailored interventions.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Caloric Restriction
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Craving*
  • Diet, Reducing / psychology*
  • Female
  • Food
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / diet therapy
  • Obesity / psychology*
  • Overweight / diet therapy
  • Overweight / psychology*
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Surveys and Questionnaires