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“Study Reveals Drinks People Crave Most”
Craving a glass of wine or a cold beer at the end of the day might not seem unusual, but people can also experience cravings for soft drinks and coffee, according to new research.
Led by Joshua McGreen, a PhD student at Flinders University, the study found that the number of cravings a person experiences can indicate how many soft drinks they would end up drinking, with the cravings being triggered by a number of factors beyond thirst.
“Curge refers to the intense desire to consume a specific substance, such as a drug, alcohol or food and it has been well established in research that cravings for all three can predict future use,” says M. McGreen of Flinders’ College of Education, Psychology. and social work.
“However, what is less known is the link between cravings and consumption of non-alcoholic beverages, including sugary and caffeinated beverages.
“It’s important to investigate this link because food cravings could be a potential target to help people reduce their alcohol consumption, with soft drinks and caffeine having the potential to cause health problems if consumed excessively. “
Published in the journal Eating Behaviors, the study analyzed data from 128 participants aged 17 to 25, who completed a cravings diary and a daily drinking metric over a one-week period.
Cravings were reported for a range of beverages including tea, juice and flavored milk, but by far the most requested beverages were water, coffee and soft drinks.
When studying the link between cravings and drinking, stronger cravings have been shown to be associated with a greater likelihood of drinking more, especially for soft drinks.
“Fatigue was the most common trigger for craving coffee. For non-alcoholic beverages, visual cues such as advertising or seeing other people having a drink were the most common triggers, followed by food, then thirst,” says McGreen.
Water was both the most sought after and most consumed beverage, with thirst being the most common trigger.
“Although water is not considered a substance that is generally desired, participants clearly felt a strong desire to consume it, in line with the formal definition of craving by the World Health Organization” , says Mr. McGreen.
“However, the number of water cravings over the week did not indicate how much would be drunk. Instead, it was predicted by how much the participants liked water and whether they were male.
“This contrasts with coffee and soft drinks, where the number of cravings for each predicted the amount that would be drunk over the week.”
While soft drink consumption has risen rapidly over the past 50 years to become a major public health concern, the study is important because it indicates that food cravings may be a target for reducing soft drink consumption.
“Our study clearly shows that for soft drinks and coffee, cravings may indicate how much a person will consume, but it also indicates that thirst is not the determining factor,” says McGreen.
“For non-alcoholic beverages, the craving triggers were mostly external, including advertising or seeing other people drinking, so that’s potentially where we could focus if we want to reduce consumption. world of non-alcoholic beverages and reaping the benefits for public health.”
Reference: McGreen J, Kemps E, Tiggemann M. Beyond thirst: cravings for non-alcoholic beverages, including soft drinks. Eat Behavior. 2022;46:101662. doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2022.101662
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