Chocolate equals depression? I'm not buying this

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Okay, look, seriously.

I like my chocolate; I always have.  I'll eat a square most days (not a bar, but a single Dove milk-chocolate-with-almonds square,) and it makes me happy.  One editor consoled me about my habit by reminding me that chocolate is a vegetable.  Friends think nothing of it.  I don't actually think that much of it, either (I cook entirely healthy meals, I exercise an hour most days, I am not a couch potato), but late last night, after a very long work day, I read an article on MSNBC titled, "Depressed? You must like chocolate."   

Some facts for the curious:  The study shows that "people who are depressed ate an average of 8.4 servings of chocolate per month, compared with 5.4 servings among those who were not.  And people who had major depression based on results of a screening test ate even more—11.8 servings per month.  A serving was considered to be one small bar, or 1 ounce (28 grams), of chocolate."

Excuse me, but, hello, please?  Can some of us just like the taste of chocolate?  Must we now be categorized within a new DSM-IV label?  Will I need to go to chocolate therapy?  Does it matter that I'm actually a pretty joyful person—utterly predictable and normative frustrations aside?  I'm the kind of person who has to work hard to stop dancing.  I'm the one of whom my husband always asks, Why are you smiling?  I'm the one who smarter and sometimes famous people think boring because I don't have enough interesting troubles.  I'm the one whom Jean, my former ballroom dance teacher until he up and left the country, gave up on altogether, dancing happy salsa with me as opposed to, say, trying to perfect my five-foot-four form.

I.  Want.  Answers.

12 comments:

bermudaonion said...

I don't buy it either!

septembermom said...

I'm with you! Chocolate brings me joy every time I have my little snack :) What would I do without it?

Q said...

It seems like MSNBC is confusing cause and effect. Often people eat chocolate not just because they like the taste, but because they're sad and wanting to feel better--it's comforting to them.

And besides that, this is only a correlational study, which means that it can establish a relationship, but it cannot determine if chocolate eating causes depression (or even if depression causes chocolate eating). It can say what, but not why.

Beth F said...

I have the answer: DARK chocolate -- it's even good for your heart.

Lilian Nattel said...

It's just ass backward. People who are depressed eat more chocolate because chocolate is so good and when you feel like a dog's breakfast, having a momentary taste of yum is a relief. Besides, chocolate has antioxidants. It is a health food. Especially dark!

Indigo said...

I'm not buying it either. If I've written well that day, I reward myself with a piece of Dove dark chocolate and raspberry. How is it depressing if it rewards a good thing. (Hugs)Indigo

Inkgirl said...

hah, I'm not buying it either.

Liviania said...

Considering I eat 30-60 servings of chocolate a month (one to two pieces/fun size bars a day) I am now concerned that I may be too depressed to function.

Florinda said...

I heard about this study on the radio this morning. The only connection I can think of is that eating too much chocolate would make you gain weight, and THAT would make you depressed. This is so counter to the mood elevation most of us have experienced from chocolate that it just made me say "Huh?"

Steph Su said...

Love the sass that came out in this post. The MSNBC title makes it seem like all chocolate lovers must be depressed, and vice versa. Such a conflation of ideas. Yes, people can just like the taste of chocolate, and your chocolate-eating habits are remarkably healthy. Wish I could be more like you in that respect. :)

Melissa Sarno said...

I'm with you on this one. Chocolate is just tasty. Children eat chocolate. They beg for it. I don't know a lot of depressed 4 year olds. BTW, I love this: "I'm the one who smarter and sometimes famous people think boring because I don't have enough interesting troubles."

Mandy said...

Wasn't it just last year that chocolate was the cure for depression? Ahh, pop science, how contrary you are.

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