Will Eating Chocolate Make You Thin?

Well, as with most things in life, it looks like I have this exercise and diet thing all wrong. I’m up nearly every day grinding out the miles on the treadmill or concrete. And I’m fairly regimented about what I stuff in my mouth — not withstanding the daily routine of downing Jameson during happy hour.

Better that I should just eat chocolate. And hey. I’d be OK with that. The view from the treadmill hasn’t changed all that much in 30 years, even as my waistline keeps expanding.

Here’s from USA Today, “Chocolate lovers are thinner, study says“:

Sweet news about those chocolate cravings: People who eat moderate amounts regularly are thinner than those who eat chocolate less often.

The new research involved 1,018 healthy men and women, who exercised on average 3.6 times a week and had a balanced, nutritious diet. The body mass index of those who ate chocolate five times a week was 1 point lower than people who did not eat it regularly. Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight.

“I was pretty happy with this news myself,” says lead author Beatrice Golomb, associate professor of medicine at the University of California-San Diego. “Findings show the composition of calories, not just the number of them, matters for determining ultimate weight.”

And from the NYT, “The Chocolate Diet“:

Chocolate may not be as hazardous to your waistline as you think — at least in moderation.

A new study shows that people who eat chocolate frequently have lower body mass indexes than those who eat it less often. The researchers could not explain precisely why something usually loaded with sugar, fat and calories would have a beneficial effect on weight. But they suspect that antioxidants and other compounds in chocolate may deliver a metabolic boost that can offset its caloric downside.

Chocoholics may know that in recent years chocolate has been linked to a growing list of health benefits. Studies have found, for example, that regularly eating chocolate may lower blood pressure and cardiovascular risk, and improve cholesterol and insulin regulation.

Although the new study is among the first to look at chocolate’s effect on weight, the findings “are compatible with other evidence showing favorable metabolic effects that are known to track with body mass index,” said Dr. Beatrice A. Golomb, lead author of the study and an associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego.

Dr. Golomb’s study, published in Archives of Internal Medicine and financed by the National Institutes of Health, involved roughly 1,000 adults. The researchers looked at data on how often they exercised, the amount and type of calories they ate — including a breakdown of the types of dietary fat they consumed — and how their health and weight related to their chocolate intake. On average, the subjects were middle-aged, exercised about three times a week and ate chocolate about twice a week. There was no breakdown of the kinds of chocolate they ate, whether dark, milk or white.

The people who ate chocolate the most frequently, despite eating more calories and exercising no differently from those who ate the least chocolate, tended to have lower B.M.I.’s. There was a difference of roughly five to seven pounds between subjects who ate five servings of chocolate a week and those who ate none, Dr. Golomb said.

Sweet.

I guess it won’t be too long before someone is opining that eating popcorn may be better for you than many fruits and vegetables.

That will give me something to think about while chasing the treadmill belt tomorrow early a.m.

 

 

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