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Several studies prove self-banning certain foods may cause food craving

This release is available in Spanish.

A research group of the Universities of Granada and Jaen have studied the psychologicl and physiological reasons of food craving, an irresistible desire for eating certain foods (sweets, chocolate, ice-creams, nuts, etc.). The results of different studies, carried out by Professors Silvia Moreno Domnguez (University of Jaen), Sonia Rodrguez-Ruz (University of Granada) and M Carmen Fernndez-Santaella (University of Granada), have been collected in the book "What is food craving?", recently published by Pirmide publishing house.

The authors ask: "Do you feel guilty whether you eat something you really want to? Do you feel a strong desire for eating when you are bored, angry, stressed or sad? Do you have real problems to stop eating something you really like?" If the subject answers affirmatively to these questions and considers that this is something with happens to him too frequently, he could be suffering food craving.

In the book "What is food craving?" the researchers try to go deeply into the psychological and physiological causes of this disorder from a series of studies carried out at the University of Granada with different types of populations (healthy peoples, persons at risk of suffering food disorders and persons with nervous bulimia). The results show that, when people prohibite themselves to consume certain foods because, for example, they think they are fattening, food craving arises as a reflection of the conflict between what "you can eat" and what "you do not want to eat".

Mind 'blow-outs'

"But food restrictions or diets are not the only conducts which can povoke food craving the authors say: we have also found out that negative emotions can lead to consume an excessive amount of food in a short space of time, with a sensation of loss of control: that is what we call blow-outs". Therefore, we can say that food restrictions and negative states of mind (such as anxiety, sadness, frustration, stress) "are often connected with what we could call emotional and pathological feeding".

The book "What is food craving?" sets out in an easy and rigorous way the origin of the term "fod craving", as well as its main characteristics. It also inclides an extensive journey round the different explanatory theories of food craving, analysing the negative role of restrictive diets in this field and describing the methods available nowadays to evaluate this phenomenon.

The authors also deal with those populations in which food craving is evident in a special way, such as depressed, obese, bulimic and anorexic persons. "The experience of chocolate craving, considered by some people to be an addictive conduct, has been studied according to the researchers- to a lesser extent".

This is "a book that includes the existing information nowadays, both clinical and experimental, about one of the most frequent experiences among general population: food craving".


Contact: Carmen Fernendez-Santaella Santiago
Universidad de Granada

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