May 25, 2006

Eat chocolate.

It makes you smart, so you're smart to eat it.


Meade said...

Trouble is it makes me fat. Can't I just mainline theobromine, phenethylamine, and caffeine? Would that not be even smarter?

Joan said...

I think it was the sugar, not the chocolate.

I can't tell whether this is a really poorly designed experiment, or poorly reported article. Perhaps both. Milk chocolate has a lot more sugar than most dark chocolate, and I have no idea how sweet the carob was. If they all had the same amount of sugar, that would be appropriate; there's no way to tell if they did or not. Also, a better control would have been giving the equivalent amount of table sugar, rather than nothing, I think.

Also: 15 minutes of digestion? The hell? Barely any nutrients other than sugar would be absorbed in just 15 minutes! Unless the subjects let the chocolate dissolve in their mouths, rather than chewing it up and swallowing it?

It seems this study was designed to be fun and easy to administer, with little or no regard for physiology or rigorous methodology.

I don't need scientists rationalizing my nearly daily dose of chocolate. If they're going to do it, though, they're going to have to do a better job than this.

al said...

I don't need scientists rationalizing my nearly daily dose of chocolate.

Joan - nearly isn't quite good enough. Chocolate was meant to be enjoyed daily.

chuck b. said...

And where was this fabulous research carried out? Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia. Sigh. Must be a big day for them, getting on CNN and all. I'm sure Senator Byrd is very proud.

These kinds of mainstream media pseudoscience stories depress me. I don't know who you have to f*ck to get on CNN, but it would be nice if they found more technically competent researchers to cavort with. This kind of stuff degrades the public's perception of scientific research.

(As opposed to the latest in invisibility cloaks and pot smoking.)

tiggeril said...

I knew it was the secret to my success.

Troy said...

I am friggin' Albert Einstein if this is true.

amba said...

Meade: I already mainline the caffeine.

Joan is right. In terms of antioxidant power, etc., dark chocolate is the gold standard. Milk chocolate is sweeter. There's probably proportionately less cacao in it.

Which brings me to my final point: even if this were true, you'd quickly reach a point of diminishing returns where the sugar shock canceled it out.

Maxine Weiss said...

Anything that gets the blood flowing......sends blood to the brain. That's why fish is considered brain food----because the fish oils get the blood flowing. Spicy foods and hot peppers. Exercise gets the blood flowing.

Peace, Maxine

tiggeril said...


I'll amend my previous statement.

My taste for dark chocolate and habanero salsa (but not together) is the secret to my success.

Does that mean that this chocolate (good stuff) is the ultimate brain food?

Joe said...

And we all thought it was a joke in Sleeper.

Joseph Hovsep said...

It could be that chocolate tastes better than carob, which makes people happier, which makes people better able to do any number of things. In fact, as someone who eats a fair share of hippy alternative co-op food and enjoys it, I'd say carob is a substitute for chocolate like Dan Quayle is a substitute for JFK: although inviting, any comparison of the two will leave you disappointed.

Chuck might be onto something with the scientific research he cites: we should smoke some pot to increase our appetite for chocolate. Of course, the pot might cancel out the intelligence-enhancing benefits of the chocolate.

Mark the Pundit said...

It makes you smart, so you're smart to eat it.

I read this and I cannot help but think that it came right out of Yogi Berra's mouth!

Tibore said...

Oh, like it matters if chocolate makes you "smarter". If someone enjoyed it enough, it wouldn't matter if it gave them headaches, severe dehydration, interfered with short term memory, and actually killed brain cells, they'd still consume it. After all, that's what happens when you drink enough alcohol, right?

I don't eat chocolate to give myself more brain power. I do it because it goes so, soooo damn well with strawberries. Oh, the sweet bliss of that dish!

$CAV3NG3R said...

I love america as much as the next guy but damn y'all eat too much sugar. Everywhere one turns its sugar. It's in the baked beans, the cookies, the muffin, even general tso's chicken has a superabundance of sugar. I grew up eating baked beans in tomato sauce not some sugary sauce.

Now every two bit pseudoscientist comes up with a justification to continue down this path. I love y'all but damn what is with the sweet tooth.

Meade said...

Sugar -- the original gateway drug.