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with negative experiences. I feel 'unattractive', 'sick', 'guilty', 'depressed', 'unhealthy' after eating chocolate. It is not surprising that after eating chocolate: 'I often wish I hadn't'. The second type of question related to weight and body image: 'I often diet', 'I look at the calorific value of a chocolate snack', 'if I ate less chocolate I think I would have a better figure'.

Benton et al. (7) asked subjects to press the space bar on a computer to earn chocolate buttons. The number of presses required to earn a chocolate button increased after each reinforcement according to a fixed ratio, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 and so on. The measure was the number of presses made to obtain chocolate. Those with a higher craving score were prepared to press the space bar more frequently to receive more chocolate buttons. When mild depression was induced, by playing miserable music, they pressed the space bar more often to receive more chocolate (10).

A third factor reflected a pragmatic approach to chocolate. It is eaten when it serves some useful purpose; 'to keep my energy levels up when doing physical exercise', 'in the winter when it is colder', 'only when I am hungry' and 'as a reward when everything is going well'. Unlike the guilt and craving factors, this third factor was not associated with mood.

In summary, a consistent picture has emerged. Chocolate craving is by far the most common food item that is craved, and this is particularly true in females. There is considerable evidence that chocolate craving and poor mood are related. The question that arises is the origin of this relationship. To what extent do the mood-enhancing properties of chocolate reflect biological or psychological mechanisms?

Carbohydrate Intake and Serotonin Synthesis

It has been suggested that as the eating of chocolate is associated with a high carbohydrate intake, it may result in an increased level of brain serotonin. The behavioural consequences of increased serotonergic activity include changes in aggressiveness, mood and pain sensitivity. More specifically, it has been hypothesized that a high-carbohydrate, as opposed to a high-protein, meal will decrease alertness and be associated with a general decline in cognitive efficiency (11). There are, however, many problems with the idea that the high sugar content of chocolate leads to enhanced serotonin synthesis.

Wurtman and Wurtman (12) developed the hypothesis that carbohydrates can relieve depression, a speculation that depended on three disorders: carbohydrate craving obesity, the premenstrual syndrome (PMS, which is discussed below) and seasonal affective disorders. Given the widespread evidence that associates a deficiency in serotonergic functioning with depression, the Wurtmans proposed that an increase in carbohydrate intake reflected an attempt at self-medication, that carbohydrate intake enhanced serotonin synthesis. It was proposed that in

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