Chocolate Makes You Thinner

28.03.2012

Chocoholics rejoice: new research suggests frequent consumers of the sugary treat are thinner than their counterparts who eat less.


A research letter published in the Archives of Internal Medicine reports that adults who consumed the most chocolate had a lower body mass index (BMI) than subjects who ate chocolate less frequently.


For their paper, the researchers screened more than 1,000 men and women for health issues such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cholesterol levels, and asked them how often they eat chocolate. They were also asked about how often they exercise each week.


Of the 1,017 participants, 927 had their BMI measured and 975 completed a food frequency questionnaire.


"Chocolate consumption frequency was not linked to greater activity," the authors wrote. "Yet, greater chocolate consumption frequency was linked to lower BMI."


The authors said the link between consumption and lower BMI remained consistent when they factored in the subjects' age and gender, as well as physical activity levels and calories consumed.


The authors acknowledge that their findings stand in contrast to conventional wisdom about chocolate, which is a high-calorie, high-fat treat.


They write that their findings do not mean chocolate cannot lead to weight gain.


But they suggest that eating some chocolate may have a metabolic benefit that leads to less fat being deposited around the body.


"Our findings appear to add to a body of information suggesting that the composition of calories, not just the number of them, matters for determining their ultimate impact on weight," lead study author Dr. Beatrice Golomb, of the University of California San Diego, said in a statement.


"In the case of chocolate, this is good news -- both for those who have a regular chocolate habit, and those who may wish to start one."


The authors said the next step for researchers is to conduct a randomized trial to study chocolate's metabolic benefits.


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