Sweet news: People who regularly eat chocolate tend to be thinner, scientists have discovered. Of 1,000 subjects studied, those who ate chocolate a few times a week were on average slimmer than those who only ate it occasionally, reports the BBC. Frequency of eating chocolate appeared to be more important than amount consumed, and the link held even when taking different rates of exercise into account. Chocolate is high in calories, but may contain ingredients that somehow promote weight loss, or at least stave off weight gain, researchers speculate.
"Our findings appear to add to a body of information suggesting that the composition of calories, not just the number of them, matters for determining their ultimate impact on weight," said chief researcher Dr. Beatrice Golomb of UC-San Diego. Other studies have shown that chocolate is good for the heart, and that dark chocolate contains antioxidants that help to mop up harmful free radicals. Golomb believes that antioxidant compounds called catechins can improve lean muscle mass and reduce weight. (Read more obesity stories.)