Exploring the pathways from the power of food to food cravings in a sample of Brazilian young adults

Juliana Beatriz Paiva, Joana Pereira Carvalho-Ferreira, Mariana Perecin Penati, Nicola J. Buckland, Michelle Dalton, Diogo Thimoteo da Cunha

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    2 Citations (Scopus)


    The present study has three main objectives: a) to analyse, for the first time, the factor structure of the Control of Eating Questionnaire (CoEQ) in a Brazilian sample; b) to explore, through in-depth interviews, motivators and consequences of food cravings among participants with high scores on the CoEQ; and c) to analyse whether and how the power of food is related to food cravings. The study involved 335 young adults aged 18-30 years, balanced for sex. The CoEQ and the Power of Food Scale (PFS) were used in an online survey. The CoEQ and PFS were subjected to confirmatory factor analysis. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted with a subsample (n = 20) with high CoEQ scores. The Socratic questioning method was used for the interviews. The interviews were transcribed and analysed according to thematic content analysis. The PFS and the CoEQ showed adequate factor structure with reliable factors. The results of the qualitative analysis showed that both food availability and seeking relief from stressors serve as motives for food cravings. Concern for health and weight gain were cited as consequences of cravings, as was seeking distraction to cope with these cravings. It was found that the PFS aggregate factor was a significant influencing factor for craving control (β = 0.604; p < 0.001), craving for savoury (β = 0.382; p < 0.001), craving for sweet (β = 0.414; p < 0.001) and positive mood (β = -0.198; p < 0.001). The findings suggest that the relationship between food cravings and the power of food is significant in today's obesogenic environment.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number106381
    Early online date28 Nov 2022
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2023


    • Humans
    • Young Adult
    • Craving
    • Brazil
    • Food
    • Feeding Behavior
    • Food Preferences
    • Surveys and Questionnaires
    • Eating


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