Leo Sher, M.D.
A new study examined the cross-sectional relationship of chocolate consumption with depressed mood in adult men and women (1). The study conducted at the University of California in San Diego and published in a recent issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine suggests that individuals with depressive symptoms eat more chocolate.
The mean age of study subjects was 57.6 years. Subjects provided information on chocolate consumption (frequency and amount) and completed the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression (CES-D) scale. Subjects who screened positive for depression, defined as a CES-D score of 16 or higher, reported consuming significantly more chocolate than those not screening positive for depression.
Several nutrient factors that could be linked to mood, such as increased caffeine, fat, carbohydrate, or energy intake, bore no significant correlation with mood symptoms, suggesting relative specificity of the chocolate finding. There was no evidence in the study that chocolate had a sustained benefit on mood.
1. Rose N, Koperski S, Golomb BA. Mood food: chocolate and depressive symptoms in a cross-sectional analysis. Arch Intern Med. 2010 Apr 26;170(8):699-703.