Chocolate Mondays – Media Distortions of Health and Science
A MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTION
Why might individuals who report eating chocolate more often be more likely to be thin (not overweight)?
A. Because overweight individuals are more likely to be on a diet, and therefore eat chocolate less frequently
B. Because individuals who eat chocolate more often also exhibit more self control and actually eat less total chocolate
C. Because overweight individuals are less likely to honestly report eating foods that are perceived as “unhealthy”
D. Because chocolate contains certain nutrients that make a person fuller and therefore less likely to eat as many calories of other foods
Answer: As you likely already guessed, it’s a trick question, since any of the 4 answers above are entirely plausible. Rest assured that there could be many more than just these 4 explanations for why individuals who eat chocolate more often are more likely to be thin.
It seems, though, that the news media has a limited imagination for explanations, since almost every major news outlet has recently published an article proclaiming that chocolate may help to keep people slim, all based on one study.