In recent years, changes in diet as well as additional life stresses has resulted in an increase in the number of people who are affected with cardiovascular disease, and are dying from heart attacks and strokes. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has predicted that by 2030, 23.6 million people will die from heart disease. Research continues into ways in which heart health may be improved, and many people will be overjoyed at the fact that eating chocolate may be one of these.
The British Medical Journal — Expanding the Theory
There are many observational studies that have been done which involve chocolate consumption. Participants in these have answered questions about their health and eating habits, specifically about the amount and type of chocolate they consume. Statistical connections are then made based on the answers which are received. Many of these studies have shown that those that eat less chocolate often have a higher average weight, were less active, and more likely to develop diabetes.
To observe a wider range of subjects, researchers from the University of Cambridge collected data from seven studies which had a total of over 100,000 people involved. Their data collection compared those with the highest level of chocolate consumption (more than 3.5 ounces of chocolate daily) and those with the lowest. There was no limit to the type of chocolate ingested and included drinks, biscuits and desserts.
Results were remarkable, showing that high levels of chocolate consumption caused a 37% reduction in cardiovascular disease and a 29% reduction in stroke. The consensus was that eating more chocolate boosts heart health by about a third.