General wisdom says chocolate makes you fat. Thanks to Beatrice Golomb and her colleagues, we know that general wisdom is wrong, at least on this count.
Golomb, an associate professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, and her colleagues recruited about 1000 men and women, measured their height and weight, and recorded how often they ate chocolate.
Golomb and her colleagues had hypothesized that a moderate, frequent chocolate habit might have zero effect on weight -- since chocolate has beneficial effects on metabolism, the researchers thought that maybe the calories in chocolate would be neutralized by its benefits.
What the researchers found was even more surprising -- regular chocolate eaters were actually thinner than their chocophobic peers, even though they ate a similar number of calories and exercised with similar frequency.
The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, is no doubt cause for celebration for chocolate lovers everywhere.
"Our findings appear to add to a body of information suggesting that the composition of calories, not just the number of them, matters for determining their ultimate impact on weight," said Golomb. "In the case of chocolate, this is good news -- both for those who have a regular chocolate habit, and those who may wish to start one."