Food and Behaviour Research

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Beyond thirst: Cravings for non-alcoholic beverages including soft drink

McGreen J, Kemps E, Tiggemann M (2022) Eating Behaviours  Aug;46:101662 doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2022.101662 

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Abstract:

Cravings for a range of substances including drugs, alcohol, and food have been shown to predict subsequent consumption or use. However, this link has not yet been systematically examined for beverages other than alcohol. The present study aimed to provide a comprehensive investigation of cravings for non-alcoholic beverages and their link to consumption. Participants were 128 undergraduate students (17-25 years) who completed a craving diary and daily consumption measure over a period of a week. Cravings were reported for a range of beverages, including tea, juice, and flavoured milk, but by far the most craved beverages were water, coffee, and soft drink. Stronger cravings were associated with a greater likelihood of drinking and drinking more of the craved beverage. This was particularly the case for soft drink. Unlike water, cravings for coffee and soft drink were triggered by factors other than thirst, and the number of cravings predicted the total amount drunk over the week. The findings demonstrate the existence of cravings for non-alcoholic beverages such as soft drink, and point to these cravings as a potential target for reducing consumption.

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