60-Second Health

Frequent Chocolate Eaters Have Lower BMIs

People who ate chocolate frequently consumed more calories and more saturated fat, yet had lower average body mass indexes than those who did not eat chocolate. Katherine Harmon reports

It's a dangerous time of year for a chocoholic—chocolate rabbits and eggs abound. But a weakness for the cocoa bean might not be a bad thing: those who indulge more frequently seem to actually have lower body mass indexes, BMIs.

Researchers surveyed more than 1,000 adults to see how often they ate chocolate each week. Those who indulged more frequently consumed more calories and more saturated fat than others. But the frequent chocolate eaters still had, on average, lower BMIs. The results are in Archives of Internal Medicine. [Beatrice A. Golomb, Sabrina Koperski and Halbert L. White, "Association Between More Frequent Chocolate Consumption and Lower Body Mass Index"]

And no, the study was not funded by Hershey, Nestle—or even the Cadbury Bunny. 

Dark chocolate has been linked to better heart health. And this study supports previous findings that certain chocolate compounds can have metabolic benefits.

The research can't prove that chocolate was behind all the smaller behinds. And it's possible that some people will add pounds from their chocolate habit. The only sure way to find out will be to conduct a randomized controlled study. Which leaves me with only one question: Where do I sign up?

—Katherine Harmon

[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]

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