It is commonly said that chocolate can be “addictive”, and many people will say that they are in fact addicted – but how many people actually believe it is a medically proven addiction?
What makes it an addiction?
The essential components of addiction are intense craving for something, loss of control over the use of it, and continued use despite negative consequences. Studies have shown that people can exhibit all three of these components in relation to food, particularly food that contains sugar or fat. Since chocolate contains both, it is often used in studies of food addiction.
In addition to sugar and fat, chocolate contains several other substances that can make it feel “addictive”. These include tryptophan and phenylethylamine, also nicknamed “chocolate amphetamine” which can cause feelings of excitement and attraction.
Someone addicted to chocolate is commonly referred to as a chocoholic. ‘Chocoholism’ is quite common. In studies of food cravings, chocolate and chocolate confectioneries almost always top the list of foods people say they crave.
Are you a chocoholic?
A chocoholic is a person who craves or compulsively consumes chocolate. There is some medical evidence to support the existence of actual addiction to chocolate. The term is mostly used loosely or humorously to describe a person who is inordinately fond of chocolate. The word chocoholic was first used in 1968 according to Merriam-Webster. It is a portmanteau of “chocolate” and “alcoholic”.
However, even scientists who doubt the existence of true addiction agree that chocolate craving is real. Women are especially affected.
So, addicted or not, if you have a craving, visit Square Nine from March 20th – 27th and indulge in a true chocolate festival.
Chocolate days @ Square Nine