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Int J Eat Disord. 1999 Mar;25(2):169-75.

Psychological and physiological characteristics of sweet food "addiction".

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Physiology, Medical School, University of Tampere, Finland.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Drug addicts in general can be distinguished from nonaddicts by their affective and physiological and craving responses to drug-related cues. The purpose of this study was to examine similar affective, physiological, and behavioral variables in chocolate "addicts" and control subjects.

METHODS:

Sixteen addicts and 15 control subjects took part in two laboratory experiments in which their heart rate, salivation, and self-reported responses were measured.

RESULTS:

In the presence of external chocolate cues, chocolate addicts were more aroused, reported greater cravings, experienced more negative affect, and also ate more chocolate than control subjects. Self-report measures on eating attitudes and behavior, body image, and depression confirmed that a relationship exists between "chocolate addiction" and problem eating. Chocolate addicts showed more aberrant eating behaviors and attitudes than controls, and were also significantly more depressed.

DISCUSSION:

Chocolate addicts may be considered to be a parallel with addicts generally, because they differ from controls in craving for chocolate, eating behavior, and psychopathology (in respect of eating and affect).

PMID:
10065394
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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