Tags: Nobel | Chocolate

Eat More Chocolate, Win More Nobels?

Sunday, 14 Oct 2012 06:48 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Take this with a grain of salt, or perhaps some almonds or hazelnuts: A study ties chocolate consumption to the number of Nobel Prize winners a country has and suggests it's a sign that the sweet treat can boost brain power.

No, this does not appear in the satirical Onion newspaper. It's in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, which published it online Wednesday as a "note" rather than a rigorous, peer-reviewed study.

The author — Dr. Franz Messerli, of St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital and Columbia University in New York — writes that there is evidence that flavanols in green tea, red wine and chocolate can help "in slowing down or even reversing" age-related mental decline — a contention some medical experts may dispute.

Nevertheless, he examined whether a country's per-capita chocolate consumption was related to the number of Nobels it had won — a possible sign of a nation's "cognitive function." Using data from some major chocolate producers on sales in 23 countries, he found "a surprisingly powerful correlation."

Switzerland led in chocolate consumption and Nobels, when looked at according to population. The United States is in the middle of the pack with the Netherlands, Ireland, France, Belgium and Germany. At the bottom were China, Japan and Brazil. The study only includes Nobels through last year — not the ones being announced this week.

Curiously, Sweden should have produced only 14 winners according to its appetite for chocolate, yet it had 32. Messerli speculates that the Nobel panel, based in Sweden, may have "patriotic bias" toward fellow countrymen — or that Swedes are very sensitive to the effects of chocolate so that "even minuscule amounts greatly enhance their cognition."

It is possible, he admits, that chocolate isn't making people smart, but that smart people who are more likely to win Nobels are aware of chocolate's benefits and therefore more likely to consume it.

Sven Lidin, the chairman of the Nobel chemistry prize committee, had not seen the study but was giggling so much when told of it that he could barely comment.

"I don't think there is any direct cause and effect," Lidin said. "The first thing I'd want to know is how chocolate consumption correlates to gross domestic product."

Messerli also calculated the "dose" of chocolate needed to produce an additional Nobel winner — about 14 ounces per person per year, or about nine Hershey bars.

He discloses that he is doing his part — he eats chocolate daily, mostly Lindt dark.


© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Safety May Rise as Cars Talk to One Another

Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 07:41 AM

There will soon come a time when cars are capable of wirelessly communicating with each other about potential road dange . . .

Al Jazeera Blasts Al Gore as Fight Over TV Deal Gets Nasty

Tuesday, 19 Aug 2014 18:20 PM

Al Jazeera on Tuesday rejected allegations from Al Gore and Joel Hyatt, the founders of Current TV, saying they were fal . . .

Uber Hires Former Obama Adviser Plouffe to Counter Opponents

Tuesday, 19 Aug 2014 15:16 PM

(Updates with Kalanick comments in seventh paragraph.)Aug. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Uber Technologies Inc. is adding to its exe . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved