The Evidence Supporting a Chocolate Diet: Correlation or Causation?

A new study published in the journalĀ Archives of Internal Medicine finds that chocolate consumption is associated with lower body mass index (BMI) [1]. In the news and across the web, reporters are touting this as evidence that eating chocolate lowers BMI.

Assorted chocolatesImage credit: Assorted chocolates via Shutterstock

Processed Food Makers Cut Corners As Prices Rise

Do you read labels at the supermarket? If you do, you may soon notice changes in the ingredients of some of the foods you buy. Food makers are quietly substituting cheaper ingredients in processed foods to offset the high price of commodities.

The Wall Street Journal took note of this trend last weekend, reporting that Food Makers Scrimp on Ingredients In An Effort to Fatten Their Profits [1]. However, that may be overstating their intentions. With high fuel prices driving up the cost of basic ingredients such as sugar and wheat, food companies are are forced to make a choice: raise prices or cut corners. Because competition in the industry is so strong, raising prices is the last thing food companies want to do. Instead, they look to the quality and quantity of the ingredients they use [2]. For example:

  • Kraft Miracle Whip now contains more water
  • Nestle snack products now contain less milk
  • Sara Lee has switched to cheaper wheat for some breads
  • Mars Inc. is reducing the size of its Funsize candy packs
  • Hamburger Helper products have reduced the number of spice and ingredient pouches
  • Some of Hershey’s chocolates are now being made with vegetable oil instead of cocoa butter

Health Highlights – July 10th, 2008

Health Highlights is a biweekly summary of particularly interesting articles from credible sources of health and medical information that we follow & read.

Health Highlights

Health Highlights – September 10th, 2007

Health Highlights is a biweekly summary of particularly interesting articles from credible sources of health and medical information that we follow & read.

Health Highlights
  • The Business of Bottled Water | Think Bigg

    Because bottle water is considered a food, it’s regulated by the FDA. In contrast, tap water is regulated by the EPA. A Natural Resources Defense Council study found that bottled water sold in the U.S. isn’t necessarily cleaner or safer than most tap water. Tabetha at Think Bigg writes a thought-provoking article on the business of bottled water.

  • DNA and Spit Law Enforcement Campaigns | Eye on DNA

    What is it with people spitting at other people? Hsien at Eye on DNA tells us about the spit law enforcement campaign in England. Maybe that’ll make them think twice about spitting!

  • I Could Swear I’ve Read This Post Before | Healthbolt

    New clues regarding deja vu have Sara at Healthbolt saying “I could swear I’ve read this post before.”

  • The Sherpa Silenced | Gene Sherpas: Personalized Medicine and You

    Steve Murphy, a.k.a. the Gene Sherpa, is making an appeal for more Gene Sherpas:

    I am now putting out a plea to all of those who wish to harness genetics for health and longevity, those who wish to have science behind their clinical decision making, those who have a keen business sense and the ethics to make you shudder when you see what is being sold, those who wish to learn more about the future of genetic and medicine.

  • Chocolate Myths | Sciencebase

    David at Sciencebase writes about chocolate and the alkaloids caffeine and theobromine, and also provides a great example of unfounded claims and the importance of scientific evidence and source referencing.