As a confirmed long-time chocolate lover, this was one of my favorite headlines. And indeed, recent research has shown that eating dark chocolate (three and a half ounces or about three regular size candy bars) once a day for fifteen days can lower blood pressure and help control diabetes. But consider: three candy bars a day is a lot of chocolate and a lot of calories (about 600) and a lot of fat (about 33 grams), while other foods, such as tea (and wine), contain the same flavonols thought to be behind the positive effect on blood pressure. Still, advertisers know that all most of us need is a little bit of “science” to justify our indulgence. (If I’m given a choice between tea or chocolate, well, there really is no choice). How long do you think it will take for chocolate makers to put this research in their ads? My bet is that we’ll see it within the week. Medical (scientific) research is more susceptible to political and social influence than you might think. It pays to be skeptical about medical research. Next blog: questionable medical research on cerebral palsy.
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