The change in appetite and food cravings before, during and after menstruation and the relationships between each premenstrual symptom and change in appetite and type of food with increased intake were investigated. This study was conducted by a self-administered questionnaire in 311 female students of health sciences. It was found that the proportion of students who increased the appetite was 70.4% during the menstruation cycle, and the highest period was before menstruation (85.8%). Sweets had the highest intake in all menstrual phases followed by junk food. It was found that increased appetite was significantly associated with depression and sleepiness. Moreover, increased intake of sweets was associated with depression, anger and sleepiness, while intake of junk food was associated with irritability and depression. In conclusion, the relationships between increased appetite for sweets and junk food and premenstrual symptoms indicate the need for promoting proper menstruation-related eating habits.
Key words: Premenstrual symptoms, change in appetite, food craving, sweets, junk food.
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