Eating More (than normal ) Chocolate Linked With Depression

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Bad news for all you chocoholics out there, according to recent research conducted by the University of California in San Diego, the chances are if you eat a lot of chocolate then you are also depressed.

The study, which was led by Dr Natalie Rose and her colleagues, found that those who had higher depression scores ate more chocolate, simple as that really. It’s important to note that this is specifically chocolate we’re talking about, not any other food cravings like cakes or biscuits.

Around 1000 people aged between 20 and 85 took part in the study and interestingly, nearly 700 of them were men so we can’t blame gender bias there.

None of those who took part were taking anti-depressants and those with vascular disease, diabetes or who had high or low cholesterol levels were also excluded.

What the study basically did, was look at the amount of chocolate eaten on a weekly and monthly basis which the participants answered on a questionnaire, and then compared it with an individual’s mood using a psychological scale called The Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale.

The scale identified the participants as belonging to one of three groups, and these were those who showed signs of major depression, those who had signs of depression but it wasn’t major, and those who didn’t show signs of depression.

This was done by asking the participants about 20 different symptoms of depression after which the answers were scored on a scale of zero to three which meant that the maximum score possible was 60.

So if you scored less than 16 points on the scale you were considered to have no symptoms of depression. Between 16 and 22 meant some symptoms of depression but not major, and if you scored more than 22 then the signs were that you had major depression symptoms.

What the results showed was that those scoring less on the depression scale ate less chocolate and those who scored higher ate more. For example, those scoring under 16 points ate an average of 5.4 servings of chocolate a month, between 16 and 22 it was 8.4 servings and over 22 it was 11.8 servings. For clarification, one serving was defined as being 1 ounce.

What the study didn’t reveal though is what comes first. Does eating chocolate make you depressed or do you eat chocolate because you’re already depressed?

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