Chocolate and Depression – Laughable

It’s been crazy.  Laughable, really.  Recently there has been a lot of talk about a study on chocolate and depression that was printed in a well-known medical journal, Archives of Internal Medicine (see article here).  Friends told me about it.  Everyone is writing about it.  I’ll get right to the point and say that this study means nothing.  Big words coming from a small fish.  I’m not just saying this because they are attacking chocolate.  Why would I say such a thing?  Easy.  The study lacks evidence.  Plain and simple.

What kind of chocolate was being eaten by the test subjects?  No one knows.  Not even the people who published the paper.  Yes, they measured the ounces, but didn’t track or ask for the type of chocolate being consumed.  There is a big difference between a chocolate truffle, a chocolate shake and a Claudio Corallo bar in the amounts of cocoa mass and cocoa butter, which means different levels of antioxidants, flavonoids and all the other cocoa-rific goodies.  What if the test subjects were eating Hershey’s Kisses?  Or Reese’s?  Or <gasp> white chocolate?

This was one study that occurred over a week.  Really?  This much attention for one study lasting a week?  With bad data collection?  I will give the researchers kudos for testing both males and females, but they didn’t have a good control group.  Too many other factors affect our daily lives.  My mood can change from week to week depending on what is going on in my world.  I might be stressed at work one week and suddenly things are going much smoother the next.  Family issues might pop up.  Illness.  Vacation.  Sex.  The weather.  Friends.  Winning or losing a tennis match.  One week is a drop in the bucket.

An article on CNN suggests, “”If you crave chocolate a lot, examine your mood state and deduce if depression is a factor in your life.”  Haha!  People get all sorts of cravings.  I crave Chinese and Thai food a lot, too.  What does that mean?  I think it just means I like that type of food.  The study did not say chocolate caused depression.  It just said there was an association and there was room for further study.  The study didn’t have a definition of “depression,” which leaves a broad spectrum of possibilities.  Were the people in the study just sad on occassion or actually clinically depressed?  Too vague.

One thing I do know is that chocolate is much cheaper than a shrink and if people are self-medicating with chocolate then I say, “Good for you.”  Stay away from the junk that fills you with empty calories, loads of sugar and artificial fats.  Savor the good stuff that will actually give you all kinds of benefits.  Drexelius Chocolates carries uncommonly delicious chocolate from all over the world.  Enjoy some today!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Post your comments below!

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4 Responses to Chocolate and Depression – Laughable

  1. Pingback: Mental Disorders 101

  2. jefffromca says:

    I find the study’s lack of scientific/medical robustness rather disturbing. I have found that Chocolate puts me in a good mood. And the better the Chocolate, the quicker I am transported to the better mood and the longer the better mood lasts. If we dig deep enough we might find some anti-Chocolate group/funding behind the “study”. Or someone who just does not like the positive effects of Chocolate on others.

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