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Regular chocolate eaters are thinner, evidence suggests

Date:
March 27, 2012
Source:
University of California, San Diego Health Sciences
Summary:
Katherine Hepburn famously said of her slim physique: "What you see before you is the result of a lifetime of chocolate." New evidence suggests she may have been right. Nutritional experts present new findings that may overturn the major objection to regular chocolate consumption: that it makes people fat.

Beatrice Golomb, MD, PhD (right).
Credit: Image courtesy of University of California, San Diego Health Sciences

Katherine Hepburn famously said of her slim physique: "What you see before you is the result of a lifetime of chocolate." New evidence suggests she may have been right.

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Beatrice Golomb, MD, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, and colleagues present new findings that may overturn the major objection to regular chocolate consumption: that it makes people fat. The study, showing that adults who eat chocolate on a regular basis are actually thinner that those who don't, will be published online in the Archives of Internal Medicine on March 26.

The authors dared to hypothesize that modest, regular chocolate consumption might be calorie-neutral -in other words, that the metabolic benefits of eating modest amounts of chocolate might lead to reduced fat deposition per calorie and approximately offset the added calories (thus rendering frequent, though modest, chocolate consumption neutral with regard to weight). To assess this hypothesis, the researchers examined dietary and other information provided by approximately 1000 adult men and women from San Diego, for whom weight and height had been measured.

The UC San Diego findings were even more favorable than the researchers conjectured. They found that adults who ate chocolate on more days a week were actually thinner -- i.e. had a lower body mass index -- than those who ate chocolate less often. The size of the effect was modest but the effect was "significant" -larger than could be explained by chance. This was despite the fact that those who ate chocolate more often did not eat fewer calories (they ate more), nor did they exercise more. Indeed, no differences in behaviors were identified that might explain the finding as a difference in calories taken in versus calories expended.

"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," said Golomb. "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."

Additional contributors to the study include Sabrina Koperski and Halbert L. White, PhD, of UC San Diego.

Funding for this study was provided by the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. B. A. Golomb, S. Koperski, H. L. White. Association Between More Frequent Chocolate Consumption and Lower Body Mass Index. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2012; 172 (6): 519 DOI: 10.1001/archinternmed.2011.2100

Cite This Page:

University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. "Regular chocolate eaters are thinner, evidence suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120327091227.htm>.
University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. (2012, March 27). Regular chocolate eaters are thinner, evidence suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120327091227.htm
University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. "Regular chocolate eaters are thinner, evidence suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120327091227.htm (accessed March 31, 2015).

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