Chocolate and Mood


It is accepted that chocolate has a hedonistic appeal to most people; based on sight, colour, preparation, memories of past chocolate experiences, texture and taste. Yet many people are attracted to chocolate for other reasons, frequently suggesting that it settles stress, anxiety and depression. In essence, that it also has a beneficial impact on mood, and such a claim is the focus of this chapter.


Binge Eater Emotional Dysregulation Emotional Eating Rejection Sensitivity Food Craving 



This paper was supported by funding from an NHMRC Program Grant (510135) and preparation assisted by Amelia Paterson.


  1. 1.
    Parker G, Crawford J (2007) Chocolate craving when depressed: a personality marker. Br J Psychiatry 191:351–352PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Parker G, Manicavasagar V, Crawford J et al (2006) Assessing personality traits associated with depression: The utility of a tiered model. Psychol Med 36:1131–1139PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Parker G, Roy K, Mitchell P et al (2002) Atypical depression: A reappraisal. Am J Psychia — try 159:1470–1479CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Posternak MA, Zimmerman M (2002) Partial validation of the atypical features subtype of major depressive disorder. Arch Gen Psychiatry 59:70–76PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Parker G, Parker K, Mitchell P, Wilhelm K (2005) Atypical depression: Australian and US studies in accord. Curr Opin Psychiatry 18:1–5PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Parker G (2007) Atypical depression: A valid sub-type? J Clin Psychiatry 68(Suppl 3):18–22PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Thase ME, Frank E, Kornstein SG, Yonkers KA (2000) Gender differences in response to treatments of depression. In: Frank E (ed) Gender and its effects on psychopathology. American Psychiatric Press, Washington DC, pp 103–129Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Wurtman RJ, Wurtman JJ (1989) Carbohydrates and depression. Sci Am 260:68–75PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hammersley R, Reid M (1997) Are simple carbohydrates physiologically addictive. Addict Res 5:145–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Charney Y, Cusin I, Rohner-Jeanrenaud F et al (2000) Central control of food intake: new connections of interest in biological psychiatry? Schweiz Arch Neurol Psychiatr 151:236–246Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Gold PW, Chrousos GP (1999) The endocrinology of melancholic and atypical depression: relation to neurocircuitry and somatic consequences. Proc Assoc Am Physicians 111:22–34PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Parker G, Parker I, Brotchie H (2006) Mood state effects of chocolate. J Affect Disord 92:149–159PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Weingarten HP, Elston D (1991) Food cravings in a college population. Appetite 17:167–175PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Pelchat ML (2002) Of human bondage: food craving, obsession, compulsion, and addiction. Physiol Behav 76:347–352PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Schuman M, Gitlin MJ, Fairbanks L (1987) Sweets, chocolate, and atypical depressive traits. J Nerv Ment Dis 175:491–495PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Pinel JPJ (1990) Biopsychology, 3rd edn. Allyn and Bacon, LondonGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Drewnowski A, Greenwood MRC (1983) Cream and sugar: human preferences for high-fat foods. Physiol Behav 30:629–633PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Michener W, Rozin P (1994) Pharmacological versus sensory factors in the satiation of chocolate craving. Physiol Behav 56:419–422PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    di Tomaso E, Beltramo M, Piomelli D (1996) Brain cannabinoids in chocolate. Nature 382:677–678PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Hetherington MM, Macdiarmid JI (1993) “Chocolate addiction”: A preliminary study of its description and its relationship to problem eating. Appetite 2:233–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Koob GF, Le Moal M (2001) Drug addiction, dysregulation of reward, and allostasis. Neuropharmacology 24:97–129Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Lingford-Hughes A, Nutt D (2003) Neurobiology of addictin and implications for treatment. Br J Psychiatry 182:97–100PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ottley C (2000) Food and mood. Nursing Standard 15:46–52PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Fullerton DT, Getto CJ, Swift WJ, Carlson IH (1985) Sugar, opiods, and binge eating. Brain Res Bull 14:673–680PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Blass EM (1986) Functional interaction between positive effect of sweet and the negative effect of pain and distress Appetite 7:243Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Drewnowski A, Kurth C, Ho J, Saari J (1992) Food preferences in human obesity: carbohydrates versus fats. Appetite 18:207–221PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Benton D (2002) Carbohydrate ingestion, blood glucose and mood. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 26:293–308PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Cooper SJ, Kirkman TC (1993) Opiod mechanisms in the control of food consumption and taste preferences. In: Herz A (ed) Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, pp 321–342Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Macdiarmid JI, Hetherington MM (1995) Mood modulation by food: an explanation of affect and cravings in ‘chocolate addicts’. Br J Clin Psych 34:129–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychiatryUniversity of New South Wales and Black Dog InstituteSydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations