Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

Do girls start craving chocolate in the womb?

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A recent study was reported as showing that “a woman’s craving for chocolate may start in the womb”. Kind of interesting, I guess. Except the study didn’t really show this at all.

The researchers took 100 pregnant women who hadn’t had chocolate in the past 90 days. 46 carried a male fetus and 54 carried a female. The researchers then measured the heart rates of the babies both before and after the mothers ate 30 grams of 80% cocoa chocolate. All fetuses showed more movement after their mothers ate the chocolate. However, the female fetuses became considerably more active. Interesting, no? More interesting to me is that female fetuses are more active (with or without chocolate) on average than male fetuses. 

But… I can’t help but wonder what the result would have been if the mothers had eaten a food other than chocolate. Perhaps the fetal movement had nothing to do with chocolate per se. I also think it’s a bit of a stretch to come to the conclusion that this study is showing that the origin of female chocolate cravings is in the womb. Increased movement doesn’t necessarily equate to cravings later in life. 


Author: Diana

I'm a registered dietitian from Nova Scotia, living and working in Ontario, Canada. My goal is to help people see food and nutrition from a different perspective and understand that nutrition and health are not necessarily a result of personal choice.

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