Psychologist Makes Headlines

Dr. Julia Hormes, assistant psychology professor. (Photo by Mark Schmidt)

ALBANY, N.Y. (Sept. 11, 2017) -- UAlbany psychologist Julia Hormes is offering millions of readers an explanation of why many women in the United States report craving chocolate as a common premenstrual symptom.

Her new study, which was published in PLOS ONE and through UAlbany’s NewsCenter in August, argues that menstrual chocolate cravings may not be a physical need, but instead are a product of American culture.

The claim has since made national and international headlines, with features in Health.com, WebMD and The Daily Mail, which alone combine for more than 100 million online readers per month. Dozens of other national and international media outlets have also picked up on her study. Headlines include:

Hormes was also interviewed by “The Nutrition Show” on Sirius XM Radio and spoke with a reporter at the New York Times last week.

"It's been very exciting for us to see such interest in our work on this topic,” said Hormes, an assistant psychology professor. “Our findings challenge many preconceived notions about the likely causes of food cravings, and I hope that they serve to highlight the importance of focusing on the broader social and cultural context in trying to understand this common, yet highly complex phenomenon."

Hormes’ latest findings added to her ongoing food cravings research. In 2014, she released a study in Frontiers of Psychology that suggested food cravings in pregnancy are mostly psychological. Last year, she published a second study in Appetite that found food cravings to be a strong predictor of excess weight gain during pregnancy.

You can learn more about her research and expertise here.

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