Can Chocolate Eaters Weigh Less?
Chocolate is inherently rich in magnesium, potassium, beta-carotene, vitamin E, niacin, and folic acid
In a letter published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers have announced an association that is sure to please chocolate lovers: a preliminary study has found that people who ate chocolate frequently had a lower BMI (body-mass index) than people who ate chocolate infrequently or not at all.
They collected data about diet, physical activity, and mood from 1,018 healthy adults. They also calculated BMI for each participant using their height and weight. BMI is a measure of weight relative to height and is commonly used to diagnose underweight, overweight, and obesity.
Frequent chocolate eaters are thinner
The researchers made the following observations:
The researchers said their findings agree with previous findings, "suggesting that diet composition, as well as calorie number, may influence BMI." They note that chocolate has demonstrated other positive effects such as improving insulin sensitivity, lowering blood pressure, and reducing cholesterol levels, all of which suggests that chocolate may protect against cardiovascular disease.
What everyone should know about chocolate
These current findings about chocolate and weight are preliminary, since they have been published as a letter and have not yet been reviewed by other researchers. Nonetheless, dieters trying to lose weight may feel encouraged that indulging modestly in dark chocolate may still be reasonable. Here are some other things to remember about chocolate:
(Arch Intern Med 2012;172:517-8)
Maureen Williams, ND, completed her doctorate in naturopathic medicine at Bastyr University in Seattle and has been in private practice since 1995. With an abiding commitment to access to care, she has worked in free clinics in the US and Canada, and in rural clinics in Guatemala and Honduras where she has studied traditional herbal medicine. She currently lives and practices in Victoria, BC, and lectures and writes extensively for both professional and community audiences on topics including family nutrition, menopause, anxiety and depression, heart disease, cancer, and easing stress. Dr. Williams is a regular contributor to Healthnotes Newswire.