Industry funded studies on cocoa and health were turned into imaginative story headlines:
The resulting cocoa and chocolate studies are catnip for journalists, who often write about them under headlines like “Good news for chocolate lovers: The more you eat, the lower your risk of heart disease,” or simply “Chocolate is good for you.”
In one example, a Columbia University researcher, Adam Brickman, led a Mars-funded study, looking at how cocoa flavanols might affect the dentate gyrus, a region of the brain whose deterioration with age is associated with memory decline. His paper concluded that flavanols may improve dentate gyrus function, according to specific cognitive ability tests.
But the university public relations team and the media hyped the findings, and turned a small flavanol supplement study into a big chocolate study.
Propaganda – its now on the menu!
- “7 proven health benefits of dark chocolate”
- “Dark chocolate is rich in minerals”
- “What are the health benefits of dark chocolate?” (after noting its high in fat and sugar, the author recommends eating less than 3/4th of one ounce of dark chocolate per day. Typical candy bars in the U.S. are up to 10x that size.)
- It is even sold as a health food supplement