Eating chocolate more frequently may help lower body mass index (BMI), a new study has suggested.
Consumption of certain types of chocolate has been linked to some favourable metabolic associations with blood pressure, insulin sensitivity and cholesterol level. However, because chocolate can be a calorie-laden sweet there are concerns about eating it.
Beatrice A. Golomb, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues with the University of California, San Diego, studied 1,018 men and woman without known cardiovascular disease, diabetes or extremes of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels who were screened for participation in a clinical study examining noncardiac effects of statins.
To measure chocolate consumption, 1,017 of the participants answered a question about how many times per week they ate chocolate.
BMI was calculated for 972 of them. Of the participants, 975 completed a food frequency questionnaire.
“Adults who consumed chocolate more frequently had a lower BMI than those who consumed chocolate less often,” the researchers said.
Participants had a mean (average) age of 57 years, 68 percent were men and the mean BMI was 28. They ate chocolate a mean (average) of two times a week and exercised 3.6 times a week.
“In conclusion, our findings – that more frequent chocolate intake is linked to lower BMI – are intriguing. A randomized trial of chocolate for metabolic benefits in humans may be merited,” the researchers concluded.
The study appeared in the March 26 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.