Are urges to eat unhealthy food purely down to greed? We ask experts...
It is the question that has foxed dieters and scientists alike: Why do we crave sugary snacks or fat-laden junk foods and not more healthy options such as, say, an apple?
Some claim to have 'a sweet tooth', or 'a salt tooth'. And many believe cravings are the body's way of telling them what they need. But how true is that really?
THE EVOLUTION OF CRAVING
Experts believe that cravings occur for a variety of reasons. They attribute them to evolution, psychological factors such as stress and unhappiness, and – sometimes – a genuine need for certain foods.
'It's crucial to remember that a food craving is not simply hunger,' says Professor Andrew Hill, Head of the Academic Unit of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences at Leeds University.