Food Craving: The Irresistible Urge To Eat

Although science does not consider “Food craving” a disease, there are reports from health professionals that describe it as a serious problem for some people and that, eventually, it poses health risks.
Food craving: the irresistible urge to eat

The Food craving is not classified as a disease in the medical field. However, it is a pattern of behavior that can cause health problems or be the manifestation of other underlying disorders. So when it does, you have to be alert.

This disorder has to do with a very intense desire to eat certain foods under specific circumstances. It is estimated that most people show this type of behavior at some point. According to available data, up to 97% of women and 67% of men have gone through stages with these “desires”.

The scientific community does not include it in the disease category, as this definition would imply putting a person’s health or life at risk. However, in Food craving , that doesn’t happen. Despite all this, it has been suggested that people who experience these episodes may have some behavioral difficulties and develop organic problems.

What is food craving?

Food craving is an uncontrollable desire to consume certain foods

As we have already said, the essential feature of this intense craving for food is an irresistible urge to consume a particular food. We’ve all felt this desire. However, there is talk of food craving when these episodes are repeated with an exaggerated frequency.

The expression Food craving is taken from English. Food means food and craving has a broad meaning: it speaks of desire or desire, even suggesting an addiction. Therefore, we are talking about behavior with addictive characteristics.

Some health professionals point out that the term has not yet received the name “syndrome” or “disorder” simply because the necessary information for this has not been collected. However, several psychologists have reported that, in their consultations, they see patients for whom food craving is a serious problem.

Possible Causes for Food Craving

The specific causes of this behavior have not yet been established. What we have available so far is a set of hypotheses. What has been established is that this “craving” usually has to do with eating something high in carbohydrates or sugars.

One hypothesis indicates that the craving for sweets and carbohydrates is due to the low levels of serotonin that some people have. This is a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating appetite, sleep and mood. Low serotonin levels are also associated with symptoms of anxiety and depression.

It has been established that those with low levels of serotonin develop a tendency to look for foods that stimulate the production of this substance  to compensate for their deficiency. Sweets and carbohydrates help restore normal levels.

Serotonin also decreases when there are hormonal changes, such as during the menstrual cycle or pregnancy. Likewise, restrictive diets generate a food craving oriented to the consumption of salty foods. Stress and sadness also seem to influence this behavior pattern.

Symptoms and Risks

Healthy eating

Just as the determinant causes of Food craving have not been defined , there is also no particular description of its symptoms. The only characteristic that seems clearly defined is the frequent and excessive desire to consume a specific food. This occurs compulsively and with an urgent need.

What is clear is that those who have this type of behavior are at risk of developing health problems. The first one is obesity, followed by diabetes. People with hypertension can also put their health at risk.

From a psychological point of view, there are also risks. These types of behavior often generate guilt and feelings of low self-esteem due to the lack of control they imply. Likewise, they can intensify and lead to eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.


Food experts advise consuming five meals a day to avoid these sudden cravings. Thus, the dynamism of the metabolism is maintained and the feeling of hunger is avoided. This approach also prevents your blood glucose level from falling and your cravings for carbohydrates and sweets from rising.

It is also advisable to make healthy snacks, with fruits, whole grains and foods rich in fiber. Coffee consumption should be avoided as it causes nervousness, as well as alcohol intake, which acts as a nervous system depressant.

Likewise, it is highly recommended to exercise regularly, if possible accompanied by relaxation techniques. It is always important to consult a doctor to rule out organic problems that may be causing the problem.

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