Monday, October 6, 2008

Chocolate is good for you

Is it really?

As a chocoholic who also is a journalist, my eyes always light up when I find copy on the news wires saying how healthy and wonderful chocolate is for you. It can ward off heart disease. It is full of anti-oxidants. All that sort of stuff. Of course, I immediately try and squeeze it into La Femme each week. But, now, chocolate lovers may have to be more circumspect because apparently these claims melt under a less excitable, more skeptical eye.

Look out for a book called The Healthy Skeptic, written by Dr Robert Davis, an award-winning health journalist who teaches at a US university. Sadly, he says we journalists are guilty of a “huge exaggeration of the truth”.

“The truth is that there have been small, short-term studies suggesting dark chocolate in large quantities may have some short-term, positive effects on the cardiovascular system, but it’s unclear whether there are any long-term benefits, and that’s what counts,” says Davis. “It gets translated to say dark chocolate is good for you ... and no food by itself has that kind of power”

He goes on to say “... These little nuggets of information can overwhelm us, and we lose sight of the big picture.” He is so right about those little nuggets. They are called Lindt Lindor chocolate balls and they can overwhelm me at any time.

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