Chocolate-eaters have lower body mass: study

Healthy people who exercise and also eat chocolate regularly tend to have a lower body mass index than those who eat the rich brown sweets less often, a US study suggested on Monday.

The survey of a population of more than 1,000 adults, published as a research letter in the Archives of Internal Medicine, reinforces the notion that chocolate packs heart healthy benefits, despite its high calorie and sugar content.

People in the study, whose ages ranged from 20 to 85, reported eating chocolate an average of twice a week and exercising an average of 3.6 times a week.

Those who said they ate chocolate more often than the norm tended to have a lower ratio of weight over height, a calculation made by taking a person's weight and dividing it by their height times two.

A normal BMI is typically 18.5 to 24.9, while people who figure lower are considered underweight and those above 25 are overweight.

"Adults who consumed chocolate more frequently had a lower BMI than those who consumed chocolate less often," said the study led by Beatrice Golomb and colleagues at the University of California San Diego.

"Our findings -- that more frequent chocolate intake is linked to lower BMI -- are intriguing," it added, calling for more detailed research and perhaps a randomized clinical trial of chocolate's metabolic benefits.

While the research stopped short of establishing a reasonable or beneficial limit for chocolate-eating, experts urged moderation.

"Before you start eating a chocolate bar a day to keep the doctor away, remember that a chocolate bar can contain over 200 calories which mostly come from saturated fats and sugar," said Nancy Copperman, director of Public Health Initiatives at the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System in New York.

"Consider limiting your chocolate fix to a one ounce (28 grams) portion of dark chocolate or adding cocoa powder which is very low in fat to your food once a day," said Copperman, who was not involved in the study.

Chocolate's benefits are rooted in antioxidant polyphenols which can improve blood pressure, and also help lower cholesterol levels and blood sugar.

Other studies have even linked chocolate to a lower risk of death by heart attack.

Chocolate's curious ability to improve heart health is usually considered as part of a lifestyle that includes exercise and moderation in diet, according to Suzanne Steinbaum, director of women and heart disease at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, who was not involved in the study.

"We have seen in multiple studies the benefits of chocolate, and yet again, we see as part of an overall healthy lifestyle, chocolate does not add to weight gain, but in fact, might help control it," she said.

  • Treasure trove of British newsreels reveals Top Gear's ancestors 3 hours ago
    Treasure trove of British newsreels reveals Top Gear's ancestors

    Long after television grew to dominate American and British homes, newsreel producer British Pathé kept at it, documenting the news of the day until finally ceasing production of new short films in 1970 after 60 years of effort. Last week, all of British Pathé's 85,000 films were put online — including dozens of fascinating, rare and often weird car films that resemble nothing so much as a jet-age Top Gear.

  • Nissan tests self-cleaning paint that could make car washes obsolete 4 hours ago
    Nissan tests self-cleaning paint that could make car washes obsolete

    During this vile, never-ending winter, motorists had three options to keep their cars clean: Shell out on regular car washes; slave away in the cold, wind and snow washing it yourself, or screw it and just drive a dirty car. I, like many, chose the last option. But if only I'd been able to test Nissan's self-cleaning car, all my troubles would have washed away.

  • Popular hot yoga myths debunked 11 hours ago
    Popular hot yoga myths debunked

    What’s the hottest new workout taking the world by storm? That would be hot yoga, also known as Bikram yoga. Conducted in a heated room with sweltering temperatures of about 40°C (or approximately 104° Fahrenheit) and 40 per cent humidity, … Continue reading →

  • Photo of a very thin Lee Kuan Yew sparks concern
    Photo of a very thin Lee Kuan Yew sparks concern

    A new picture of Singapore's first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, who is now 90 years old, has drawn concern from people on Singapore's internet space.

  • Waste oil collector struggles after STOMP posts, receives help from kind souls
    Waste oil collector struggles after STOMP posts, receives help from kind souls

    After being photographed at work in Jurong pooling used oil near coffee shops, 50-year-old Valerie Sim has been struggling to keep her family afloat. Web portals STOMP and The Real Singapore published pictures of her in February, triggering a witch hunt for others like her and comments from readers like “Who knows if they’ll use it as cooking oil?” Some readers also said they filed police reports against her and other people they believed were doing the same thing she was.

  • I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind.
    I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind.

    I have committed a taboo – I have tendered my resignation without securing the next job. The reactions to the announcement were varied but they all pretty much hint at a deep sense of disapproval. “Why did you do that?” It was as if I had renounced my faith. “What are you going to do from now on?” Almost as though a misfortune had incapacitated me. “What does your family have to say about it?” As if I had offered to cook for the next family dinner. I was, and still am, certain of my reasons and motivations for the resignation. However the response I received got me thinking about why people are so concerned about the gaps in their careers. The developed world evolved from an agricultural economy to an industrial economy to the service age, then to the knowledge economy in the late 1990s and 2000s marked by breakthroughs in technological innovations and competition for innovation with new products and processes that develop from the research community. According to The Work Foundation, the knowledge economy is driven by the demand for higher value added goods and services created by more sophisticated, more discerning, and better educated consumers and ... The post I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind. appeared first on Vulcan Post.