Hereâ€™s something that people may find ironic: consuming chocolate has been regarded by many as a satisfying activity, but a study now indicates that it may be linked with depression.
According to a feature on the Los Angeles Times, researchers from UC San Diego and UC Davis have determined that there may be a link between chocolate and depression. Their study looked into the chocolate consumption as well as other dietary intake patters of more than nine hundred men and women who were not using anti-depressants. The participants of the study were also asked to take a depression screening test.
The researchers found that those who screened positive for possible depression consumed, on average, 8.4 servings of chocolate in a month. Those who had possible major depression consumed an average of 11.8 servings of chocolate a month. In contrast, those who were not depressed consumed an average of 5.4 servings of chocolate a month.
In addition to chocolate, researchers also looked at other dietary factors and related them to mood, including caffeine, fat and carbo intake. However, it was only chocolate that could be correlated to mood.
Beyond this correlation, though, the researchers indicated that it was not clear as to why the chocolate and depression are linked. A theory mentioned in the feature is that depression may lead to chocolate cravings in order to make oneâ€™s self feel better.
Marcia Levin Pelchat, a psychologist who studies food cravings at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, shares: â€œIt’s unlikely that chocolate makes people depressedâ€¦ Most people believe the beneficial effects of chocolate are on mood and that they are learned. You eat chocolate; it makes you feel good, and sometime when you’re feeling badly it occurs to you, â€˜Gee, if I eat some chocolate I might feel better.’â€