It’s all over the internet, the story NPR reported yesterday that a USD study came to the conclusion that people eating chocolate frequently tend to be thinner – they way the USD professor, Beatrice Golomb, put it is that such people have a lower Body Mass Index. Being the poster child for eating chocolate and maintaining a well below average body weight, I guess I instinctively knew this along. I knew it when standing on a tube platform at 8 pm at night in my ’20s, feeling the double cream Cadbury bar calling my name from the vending machine affixed to the wall or when braving the pouring rain to drag myself from the couch to the corner store for a Mars bar.
I sensed it in my ’30s, while gorging on box after box of After 8 and in my ’40s when my palate actually came to the conclusion that dark chocolate was the only way to go. There have been very few days in my life when chocolate has not passed my lips. Straight, non fuss chocolate – no brownies, chocolate ice cream or pudding – just a down to earth bar of chocolate. I might have come a long way from those extra sweet Cadbury bars with a cocoa content of (maybe) 20% but my day is not complete if a square of chocolate hasn’t found its way to my stomach.
The study conducted at USD, through questionnaires detailing a sample of about 1,000 people’s eating habits, posits that not all calories are created equal. An unrelated study, conducted on mice by food scientist Joshua Lambert of Penn State, suggests that a polyphenol found in cacao might inhibit an enzyme responsible for the digestion of fat – in other words, we would expel the fat contained in chocolate it before it becomes fat on our hips.
Now that my inner knowledge has been somewhat validated, I will not indulge any more than I already do (as I don’t think it would be possible) but I will feel wholly virtuous in savoring my chocolate bits while lounging on the couch.