Apr 30 2008
According to an internet poll pregnancy cravings are much more common among modern women than previous generations.
In a survey carried out by the social network website gurgle.com it is suggested that of 2,231 pregnant women polled, 75% experienced a craving, compared to just 30% five decades ago.
Interestingly a third of the cravings were not for food, but items such as coal, soap, toothpaste and sponges.
Of the more usual cravings ice cream, sweets, spicy food, pickled onions, tropical fruit, curry, doughnuts, marmite, peanut butter, potatoes and nuts were popular with chocolate the most craved for.
Unusual cravings included ice, coal, toothpaste, sponges, mud, chalk, soap, matches and rubber, and they affected around 31% of the women.
Odd food combinations were also craved, the most common being pickles and peanut butter, followed by marmite and ice cream - also yearned for were tuna and banana, and fried eggs with mint sauce!
Forty percent found these cravings surfaced in the afternoon or in the evening, with 8% sneaking off for midnight snacks and more than half had partners who are prepared to help deliver the dishes regardless of how odd the food combination was.
Experts suggest part of the reason why cravings appear to be more common might simply be the greater availability of foodstuffs which allows women to satisfy their cravings.
Cravings for non-food items are thought to be related to smell and texture, rather than taste and there is little evidence to support the theory that such cravings help to satisfy a nutritional deficiency.
Experts advise women to be wary of satisfying a craving for a non-food item but say cravings are not usually anything to worry about as long as they are not excessive, and as long as a varied and nutritious diet is generally followed.