- Chocolate cravings during periods is a result of cultural norms
- Researchers surveyed about 275 women from diverse backgrounds
- These geographic differences hint at the role of cultural norms
A team of researchers found that women not born in the United States are less likely to experience chocolate cravings as compared to women born to US-born parents and second generations Americans. "While menstrual chocolate cravings are common in the US, they are rare in other parts of the world," said Julia Hormes, assistant professor of psychology at University at Albany. "For example, research has found only 28 per cent of Spanish women experience chocolate cravings around the onset of menstruation and only six per cent of Egyptian women crave chocolate at all," said Hormes.
"These geographic differences hint at the role of cultural norms. In a society that emphasises the 'thin ideal' of female beauty, women may view menstruation as a socially acceptable excuse to indulge in otherwise 'taboo' food," she added.
For the study, researchers surveyed about 275 undergraduate women from diverse backgrounds, where the participants answered questions related to the frequency and timing of chocolate cravings and perceived causes of those cravings. The results suggested that 40.9 percent of second generation Americans and 32.7 percent of women born to US parents reported experiencing chocolate cravings at specific times of the menstrual cycle. Only 17.3 per cent of women born in regions other than the US were the ones who craved for chocolate during menstruation.
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