Chocoholism – good or bad for health? – For chocoholics there are many fair warnings regarding cholesterol, fat etc., but many have devised their own justifications and there is a growing number of research studies pointing to supposed health benefits and even endowing cocoa beans, from which chocolate is derived, as being a “superfruit”. Strictly speaking, cocoa beans are the seeds from the fruit of Theobroma cacao rather than the fruit itself. Intriguingly, however, much of the research currently being touted by public relations companies, rather than academic scientists, has the financial support of well-known chocolate manufacturers behind it. To my mind, that does not bode well for impartiality, regardless of the integrity of the independent scientists involved.
I began the original article with the line “My name is David…and I am a chocoholic”, parodying the Alcoholics Anonymous mantra, as I did so it occurred to me that such flippancy regarding addiction is quite dangerous, and given that the news of the death of Amy Winehouse through drink and drugs problems led me to wax lyrical on our addiction to addiction. A blog post on that subject is scheduled for my August Pivot Points column on The Euroscientist here.