The Mental Health Minute

Articles and news about mental health issues

Mood Food? Depressed People Eat More Chocolate

Moonstruck chocolates
Image by eszter via Flickr

Women all across the world will tell you that chocolate makes them feel better.  This is nothing new or shocking.  What this article does, however, is describes an actual research project that tries to connect eating chocolate with depressive signs and symptoms.  This study is a great first step, but does not go far enough.  The conclusion states the need for more study, but the results are very interesting.

I have always felt that nutrition–as in, you are what you eat–is a major player in mood and mind.  If you fuel your body with less that its requirements, something has to go haywire.  Our bodies are beautiful organic machines that are designed to work perfectly and to repair itself when necessary.  The only problem to overcome is that the fuel put into this machine must meet minimum requirements or else problems arise.

Chocolate has a long history that is certainly intertwined with mood.  Finally, a scientific study has been designed to try to prove the connection.  That is progress.

Please read the entire article and then let me know what you think about the findings.

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April 27, 2010 — A new cross-sectional study suggests individuals with depressive symptoms eat more chocolate, but it does not explain why.

“There is a lot of lore about chocolate and depression and precious little in the way of scientific evidence, which is what motivated us to do this study,” Beatrice A. Golomb, MD, PhD, of the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of California, San Diego, told Medscape Psychiatry.

The study, published in the April 26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, included 931 adults not using antidepressants. The mean age of study subjects was 57.6 years and mean body mass index was 27.8 kg/m2 or less; 70.1% were male, 80.4% were white, and 58.8% were college educated. Subjects provided information on chocolate consumption (frequency and amount) and completed the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression (CES-D) scale.

Subjects who screened positive for depression, defined as a CES-D score of 16 or higher, reported consuming significantly more chocolate than those not screening positive for depression (8.4 vs 5.4 servings per month; P = .004).

Those with CES-D scores of 22 or greater, indicating probable major depression, consumed 11.8 servings of chocolate per month (P value for trend < .01). These associations were evident for men and women.

According to the researchers, several nutrient factors that could be linked to mood, such as increased caffeine, fat, carbohydrate, or energy intake, bore no significant correlation with mood symptoms, suggesting relative specificity of the chocolate finding.

“The study,” Dr. Golomb emphasized, “does not address the issue of whether chocolate is beneficial or harmful in terms of mood, as this is an observational and cross-sectional study.”

“A lot of people perceive that they get a mood lift when they eat chocolate; whether that’s true or whether that’s short lived, which is why people with higher depression scores are still seen as eating more chocolate,” is unclear, Dr. Golomb said……read the rest of the article here

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April 30, 2010 - Posted by | Mental Health | , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Shirley Williams, Shirley Williams. Shirley Williams said: Mood Food? Depressed People Eat More Chocolate: http://wp.me/pwZ5n-9B […]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention Mood Food? Depressed People Eat More Chocolate « The Mental Health Minute -- Topsy.com | April 30, 2010 | Reply


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