Here is some great news for your next Zoom cocktail party or trivia event. I bet you thought eating chocolate would make you fat. I did too, but I'm happy to give you the scientific data that says chocolate doesn't make you fat!
A study published in The American Journal of Medicine looked at 13,626 non-diabetic adults over the age of 20 from 2005-2014. They investigated their chocolate consumption and then measured their body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference. They used some fancy mathematic models (multivariable linear regression) to see the correlation between the total amount of chocolate consumed each day and their body fat. Like all good studies, they controlled for sociodemographic (including income status, race, sexual preference and education), lifestyle (smoking, drinking exercising), health-related and dietary factors.
Insert drumroll here! They found a lower BMI and smaller waist circumference in people who ate chocolate compared to people that ate no chocolate. And get this! The higher amount of chocolate consumed was associated with a lower BMIs and waist size. Taken together, chocolate consumption was associated with lower markers of fat (adiposity). They did not differentiate between dark and non-dark chocolate and they did not look at total calorie intake.
Now the big question. Why? It's possible that people who eat greater amounts of chocolate may consume less fat. Chocolate contains more sugar than fat. It may be that the flavonoids found in chocolate might act as fat-reducing agents. Another theory is that people who are overweight may be reducing their chocolate intake to try and lose weight. This is doubtful because this study looked at weight gain over time. Finally, it might be that overweight people underreported their chocolate intake for fear of being judged. This is also doubtful because of the long time of the study.
I'm just happy to be reading some good news.