Chocking Depression up to Chocolate

I eat chocolate when I’m happy, sad or pretty much whenever I can get my hands on it. Some experts seem to think this could mean I’m depressed. (Which I don’t understand -chocolate makes me so happy! Well, that is until I realize how much I’ve eaten … then it makes me sad. Really, really sad.)

A recent study screened nearly 1,000 people for depression. Those who screened positive ate a little more than 8 servings of chocolate a month. (That it?!) People who weren’t depressed consumed only about 5 servings a month. And those who were the most moodiest (a word?), ate nearly 12 servings of chocolate a month. (That’s it?! God, I’d hate to find out how depressed I am!)

Researchers don’t really know why chocolate and depression are linked, but they think it might be that depression stimulates chocolate cravings as a form of self-medication, since it releases chemicals in the brain that produce feelings of pleasure. But chocolate isn’t a long-term solution, experts say, and it may eve leave you feeling worse than before.

Another theory is that chocolate contributes to depression or that stress drives both depression and chocolate cravings.

"It's unlikely that chocolate makes people depressed," said Marcia Levin Pelchat, a psychologist who studies food cravings. "Most people believe the beneficial effects of chocolate are on mood and that they are learned. You eat chocolate; it makes you feel good.”

So, either way, if chocolate makes you happy, chow down! But if you find that you’ve been glum, try ditching the dark stuff. (You might even lose weight in the process!)

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“Chocking Depression up to Chocolate”