New research from the State University of New York suggests that craving chocolate before or during your period might be down to savvy advertising more than scientific facts, The Metro reported. While hormone fluctuations during the menstrual cycle do cause changes in energy levels, mood and hunger, the idea of craving chocolate specifically may well be just be folklore.

The State University of New York came to this conclusion by comparing the PMS symptoms of 275 women from different countries around the world. They found that nearly 50% of American women craved chocolate before their period, but when it came first-generation immigrants living in the US it was only 17%. Similarly, 90% of American women craved chocolate in general (not just prior or during their period), whereas in Egypt it was only 6% and in Spain it was 28%.

It seems that in general women who lived in Western countries or have been ‘Westernized’ are more likely to experience chocolate cravings. The researchers also identified that the more a woman was exposed to American TV and magazines (where chocolate adverts would be regularly found), the more likely they were to crave the sweet stuff.

This therefore supports the idea that it is actually advertising and social conditioning that has led us to demolish the Dairy Milk not our hormones. Not that that will stop us anytime soon…

This post was written by Elizabeth Bennett. It originally appeared on our sister site, Grazia Daily.

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