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Chocolate craving when depressed: a personality marker

  • Gordon Parker (a1) and Joanna Crawford (a1)
Summary

We examined links between chocolate craving in people who are depressed and both personality style and atypical depressive symptoms, with a web-based questionnaire completed by nearly 3000 individuals reporting clinical depression. Chocolate was craved by half of the respondents (more so by women), judged as beneficial for depression, anxiety and irritability, and associated specifically with personality facets encompassed by the higher-order construct of neuroticism. The simple question of depression-associated chocolate craving appeared an efficient discriminator of DSM – IV atypical depression symptoms.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Professor Gordon Parker, Black Dog Institute, Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick 2031, Sydney, Australia. Email: g.parker@unsw.edu.au
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Declaration of interest

None.

Funding from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (Program Grant 222708) and a grant-in-aid from Pfizer International.

Footnotes
References
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American Psychiatric Association (1994) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th edn) (DSM–IV). APA.
Canli, T. Zhao, Z. Desmond, J. E. et al (2001) An fMRI study of personality influences on brain reactivity to emotional stimuli. Behavioural Neuroscience, 115 3342.
Eysenck, H. J. (1967) The Biological Basis of Personality. Charles C. Thomas.
George, M. S. Ketter, T. A. Parekh, P. I. et al (1996) Gender differences in regional cerebral blood flow during transient self-induced sadness or happiness. Biological Psychiatry, 40 859871.
Moller, S. E. (1992) Serotonin carbohydrates and atypical depression. Pharmacology and Toxicology, 71 (suppl. 1) 6171.
Parker, G. Roy, K. Mitchell, P. et al (2002) Atypical depression: a reappraisal. American Journal of Psychiatry, 159 14701479.
Parker, G. Parker, I. & Brotchie, H. (2006a) Mood state effects of chocolate. Journal of Affective Disorders, 92 149159.
Parker, G. Manicavasagar, V. Crawford, J. et al (2006b) Assessing personality traits associated with depression: the utility of a tiered model. Psychological Medicine, 36 11311139.
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Chocolate craving when depressed: a personality marker

  • Gordon Parker (a1) and Joanna Crawford (a1)
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