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If you are a woman who craves chocolate, it might not be your fault

Previous research has shown that nearly half of all women crave chocolate. Rather than being a preference or personal weakness, a recent study published in the Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine suggests that a woman’s desire for chocolate may begin before she is even born.

Researchers at the University of Politecnica Marche in Ancona, Italy wanted to test whether female and male fetuses respond differently when their mothers ate chocolate. The researchers studied 100 pregnant women who were in the last stages of their pregnancy. None of the women had consumed chocolate for at least 90 days prior to the study. The researchers measured the babies’ fetal heart rate (including the number of accelerations) along with their fetal movements before, and then 30 minutes after the women ate 5 pieces of dark chocolate.

Their results showed that female fetuses react much more strongly when their mothers eat chocolate than do male fetuses. While both the males and females responded to the chocolate, the female fetuses were stimulated more as indicated by an increase in fetal movements and more accelerations in their heart rate. They were also faster to respond after their mothers ate the chocolate, than the males.

Andrea Tranquilli, researcher on the study said that their findings provide more information about the source of women’s cravings for chocolate:

“The fact that female fetuses react more than males shows that this attitude (a woman’s preference for chocolate) is innate…It’s unequivocally innate.”

Read more about the study here.

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