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Depression Linked to Increased Chocolate Consumption

Subjects with major depression eat more than twice as much chocolate as those not depressed

MONDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- People who are depressed really do appear to eat more chocolate than those who are not depressed, though it is unclear whether there is a causal link, according to a study in the April 26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Natalie Rose, M.D., of the University of California in Davis, and colleagues studied a sample of 1,018 adults, including 931 subjects who were not using medications for depression and who provided information on their chocolate consumption (these subjects were the focus of the study). The researchers assessed depression levels using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D).

The researchers found that subjects with CES-D scores indicating depression had higher chocolate consumption than those with scores not indicating depression (8.4 servings versus 5.4 servings per month). Among those with probable major depression, chocolate consumption was even higher (11.8 servings per month). These associations were found in both male and female subjects and did not seem to be explained by a general rise in consumption of carbohydrates, fats or calories.

"Higher CES-D depression scores were associated with greater chocolate consumption. Whether there is a causal connection, and if so in which direction, is a matter for future prospective study," the authors write.

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