Depression is a real problem that affects hundreds of thousands in the United States. Depression can be caused by family history, trauma or stress, a general pessimistic personality, various physical conditions that inhibit self esteem, and many other psychological disorders. Depression is a mental state in which an individual constantly feels inadequate or a sad feelings combined with a lack in activity. A study from the Archives of Internal Medicine has found that depressed individuals eat 55% more chocolate a month than their non-depressed counterparts. Is chocolate a depression cure or simply a pick me up that will drop you down later?
The study took a sample of approximately 900 people and gauged their level of depression using questions that psychiatrists commonly ask to determine whether a patient has depression. No one already diagnosed with depression was included in the study to eliminate those taking anti-depressants to skew the results. The study determined that the higher you were on the scale regarding depression, the higher your intake of chocolate was on a monthly bases. Individuals declared as not depressed consumed about five servings a month of chocolate while those considered depressed consumed more than eight. This was not simply an average but a linear relationship. As the depression level increased, so did the individual’s monthly chocolate intake.
It has been a cliché that chocolate can cure depression. Many chick flicks show women eating chocolate after breakups or sorrowing scenes. The question the study does not answer is whether or not the chocolate intake is beneficial in treating depression. If the higher your level of depression the more chocolate you eat, the same can be said that the more chocolate you eat the higher your level of depression. If this a cause or a cure is the query that needs to be addressed. The study assures that this question is being looked into but the data did not show results that would answer it.
One bar of Hershey’s chocolate contains 210 calories, 110 which are from fat. 13 grams of fat which is approximately 20% of the recommended daily intake. This small 43gram serving of chocolate may provide a sugar high or make your taste buds momentarily happy, but it is not a remedy for the broken heart or for someone diagnosed with depression. The effect of chocolate is minimal and short-lived. Chocolate may be counterproductive in some cases depending on the root of the depression. If the root is dissatisfaction with physical appearance or a psychological disorder such as anorexia or bulimia, the chocolate will bring the problem to an even more dangerous level.
Information found on CNN , The Archives of Internal Medicine , and The Hershey Website .