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Surprising Science

Chocolate Is Slimming. Fast Food Depresses.

In two unrelated studies, researchers found that adults who eat chocolate regularly are slimmer than abstainers and that consuming fast food is strongly linked to depression. 

What’s the Latest Development?

Researchers at UC San Diego have found that adults who regularly eat chocolate tend to be thinner than those who do not. Regular chocolate consumption may help to reduce body mass index by being calorie neutral, i.e. the metabolic benefits of chocolate may lead to reduced fat storage per calorie, offsetting other calories. In an unrelated study out of Spain, health scientists found that people who ate commercial bakery goods and fast food were at a 51% higher risk of becoming depressed. They were also more likely to be single, less active and have poor dietary habits. 

What’s the Big Idea?

In the chocolate study, researchers concluded that the total number of calories a person consumes, while important, should not be the exclusive focus of a diet. The composition of calories, such as those that make up chocolate, is also important to eating well. This could be said of the fast food study, as well, where researchers supported controlling the intake of fast food because of its adverse effects on mental and physical health. Depression is believed to affect 121 people worldwide, making it one of the main causes of disability, particularly in the developing world. 

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