People who are depressed seem to eat more chocolate than people who aren't. A new study found that those who secreened positive for possible depression consumed about eight and a half servings of chocoalte a month, compared with five and half among those not screening positive.
People whose depression scores were higher ate more chocolate almost twelve servings a month. Findings were similar in men and women.
Several explanations for the findings are possible, the authors said. First, depression could stimulate chocolate cravings as ‘self-treatment’ if chocolate confers mood benefits, as has been suggested in recent studies of rats. Second, depression may stimulate chocolate cravings for unrelated reasons, without a treatment benefit of chocolate. Third, chocolate could contribute to the depressed mood .
In addition, a physiological factor such as inflammation could drive both depression and chocolate cravings, or more complex relationships may exist. For instance, the mood-elevating, craving-triggering effects of chocolate may be counteracted by ingredients that often accompany chocolate products, including artificial trans fats that inhibit omega-3 fatty acid production.