OMG! Chocolate Will Make Me Skinny…!?

Posted: February 7, 2013 in Articles, Tip of the Week

Just in time for Valentines day….

Last spring, I heard a lot of chatter in the media about an article published in the March 2012 issue of The Archives of Internal Medicine where researches suggested that those who ate chocolate in moderate amounts were skinnier than those who didn’t eat chocolate at all. This is great news right? Now you can go out and eat all of those wonderful chocolate bars you have been torturously depriving yourself of for year’s right? Maybe our overweight tendencies have been caused by depriving ourselves of these wonderful morsels?
Well, I hate to tell you, the answer is no. Remember if something sounds too good to be true than it is probably not true! While this study was carried out by people who have much more medical and nutritional knowledge than I do, this publication necessitates a closer look and perhaps an interpreter to help everyone fully understand what was discovered about chocolate.
It is true that researches found a correlation between those who ate moderate amounts of chocolate and being skinny. This sounds possibly logical as numerous health benefits of chocolate (such as benefiting one’s blood pressure, stabilization of blood glucose, high levels of antioxidants and positive affects on cholesterol) have been previously established. However, if you look at the type of chocolate used in the study, it is not the chocolate one would find in the check out at the local grocery store. The chocolate used in the study was not milk chocolate, but rather dark, bitter chocolate in its purest form.
Also, “moderate” amounts of chocolate are probably much smaller than you think. A chocolate bar is not a moderate amount of chocolate, it is actually quite excessive. A moderate portion of chocolate would be maybe the size of two nickels. Perhaps you think only a nutritional freak would eat a portion of chocolate that small. Well this is probably true. Remember the study didn’t say the more chocolate you eat the skinnier you are; it said those who eat moderate amounts are skinnier. Keep in mind too, that those who completely avoid foods are at risk for binge eating, potentially causing excessive weight gain and could possibly explain why those who didn’t eat any chocolate were not as skinny.
The biggest point of this study overlooked by most is that those classified as “skinny” were placed in that category based on their body mass index. This analytical tool of health only compares one’s height and weight, not taking into consideration an individual’s lean body mass. Therefore, it is possible that moderate chocolate eaters were considered skinny, but actually possessed a large amount of body fat and very little lean muscle mass.
So, take this study with a grain of salt. Certain types of chocolate do have a few healthy attributes, but then again so does beer, ice cream and lard. Remember moderation is the key! Just because a study says that chocolate is good for you, doesn’t mean you have the license to eat all the chocolate you desire. A practical view of our society would still clearly show that we are still very overweight and that we eat a lot of chocolate….

  1. Ruth Schultz says:

    Ahhh…….you just burst my happy chocolate bubble !

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