Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Good News for Chocloate Fans!
This afternoon, I was discussing cravings with a co-worker and I confessed that I am currently obsessed with chocolate milk and have been since about week 14. She said that when she was pregnant someone showed her a paper about chocolate consumption during pregnancy being correlated with happier babies. So I went and looked it up and it's true!! There was a study done in Finland that was published in 2004 in Early Human Development Vol 76 (pg 139-145), showing that mothers who reported higher chocolate consumption during pregnancy had infants who scored higher on positive reactivity (less fearful), activity and smiling and laughter at 6 months. Now I should mention that these measures were gathered from mothers filling out surveys about their own children and reporting their own chocolate consumption, so this is not the perfect experimental design but still very interesting. They also showed that among mothers who ate chocolate never or rarely, those that were the most stressed during pregnancy had infants with higher fear responses than those who reported less stress. Weekly or daily chocolate consumption seemed to eliminate this trend. COOL HUH? This is no licence to consume crazy amounts of chocolate but it sure makes me feel like getting a bag of M&M's! (The paper does go into why they think chocolate has this effect when another candy like licorice doesn't, but it gets technical I'll leave it up to you to read it if your interested).