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Spanish Uni : Teenager Chocoholics More Likely to be Slim

Source: Medical News Today - Sat 2th Nov 2013
Spanish Uni : Teenager Chocoholics More Likely to be Slim

A study into the benefits of eating chocolate has been undertaken by a research team from the University of Granada, which analyses data to find a strong link between eating large amounts of chocolate and a low level of body fat.

The University's Department of Medical Physiology, headed by Dr. Magdalena Cuenca-García, have reported their findings on the website of industry magazine 'Nutrition'.

The finding were reported as part of a wider study into the dietary habits, health and lifestyle of teenagers across Europe.

Earlier research has already found that regular chocolate consumption is linked to leanness in adults. There is also evidence that eating chocolate may reduce cardiovascular disease risk.

The Spanish researchers decided to use the data to see if the same could be said of teenagers, and analysed records on 1,458 adolescents from 9 European countries who were aged from 12 to 17 and who had completed computer-based questionnaires asking them to recall what they had eaten in the previous 24 hours on 2 non-consecutive days.

The records also contained information from which they could assess participants' BMI, waist circumference, body fat measures and activity levels.

The results showed that higher chocolate intake among the teenagers was linked with lower levels of total fat and fat around the middle, regardless of other factors (including exercise).

The researchers did not examine why chocolate appears to help the youngsters stay slim, but some previous studies have suggested it could be something to do with the flavonoids it contains.

Flavonoids are a group of polyphenolic compounds known to have numerous beneficial biochemical and antioxidant effects. For example, they appear to protect against cardiovascular disease through antioxidant, anti-clotting and anti-inflammatory properties.

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