CHICAGO - More frequently eating chocolate was linked to lower body mass index (BMI), according to a research letter in the March 26 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
Consumption of certain types of chocolate has been linked to some favorable 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 authors note.
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," the authors conclude. "A randomized trial of chocolate for metabolic benefits in humans may be merited."
(Arch Intern Med. 2012;172:519-521. Available pre-embargo to the media at www.jamamedia.org.)
Editor's Note: The study was funded by a grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, and was supported by the University of California San Diego General Clinical Research Center. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
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