Wow, Your Junk Food Cravings Are All Because of Marketing
Have you ever noticed that your guy friends never seem to have cravings, like ever? Weird, right? Meanwhile, you’re craving so many weird things that you’re about to have a pregnancy scare or some sh*t.
Well, it’s not just your guy friend and your boyfriend, it’s all guys across the US. Women have cravings, dudes really don’t. But why?
Well, multiple studies, pointed out by Broadly, have uncovered part of the reason why women seem to crave food, specifically dessert and chocolate, so much more than men. It’s not necessarily biological, but actually influenced by gender stereotypes that we’ve grown up with.
But it’s not that crazy. I mean think of all the times you see women “craving” or “indulging” in something sweet. You see Elle Woods eat an entire box of chocolates when she’s sad about a break up, you see Bridget Jones hiding under her covers with a pint of ice cream. Brands like Dove and Magnum put out commercials that are almost always featuring women. In general, desserts are considered “girly,” while burgers are considered “manly.”
None of this is really news, but trust me, you’re about to have your mind blown.
In the US, nearly 50 percent of women crave chocolate regularly, according to a 1999 study, whereas 20 percent of US men crave chocolate regularly. But that same study showed that in Spain, men and women craved chocolate equally (25%). In Egypt, neither men nor women craved chocolate.
I mean, think about it, you don’t leave the womb searching for a Hershey’s bar, right? American marketing tactics convince you that you need chocolate, whether it’s because of a break up or your PMS symptoms, it’s “normal” for girls to crave chocolate. When that stereotype is not present, as in Spain, that high percentage drops. So while it might be the case that women are more likely to crave chocolate, this is exacerbated by marketing, Hollywood portrayals, and gender stereotypes.
But it’s not just chocolate, it’s all cravings.
This is likely partially due to the fact that women are more concerned with their weight, so they “crave” chocolate because they don’t allow themselves to eat it normally. Whereas with men who aren’t concerned about their weight, they don’t have “cravings” because if they want something, they simply eat it.
“The craving is learned; it’s a habit. It’s a self-indulgent behavior that’s triggered by cues in the environment: the menstrual cycle, anxiety, depression,” explained sensory psychologist Marcia Pelchat, who specializes in food and beverage selection at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, to Broadly. “Food marketing reinforces these stereotypes, but it also reflects them, so there’s a positive feedback going on.”
Is this going to help you curb your random ice cream cravings? Probably not. But at least now you know that it’s not all your fault, and that’s got to count for something, right?