by Marion Nestle
Oct 27 2012

Weekend nutrifluff: Eat chocolate, win a Nobel Prize

Nutrifluff is my word for sensational research findings based on one, usually highly preliminary, study.

The best nutrifluff I’ve seen in ages is this article in the august New England Journal of Medicine: “Chocolate Consumption, Cognitive Function, and Nobel Laureates.”

The author counted the number of Nobel laureates per capita from Wikipedia and and computed the number for every 10 million people. 

He obtained data on per capita yearly chocolate consumption in 22 countries from several sources and ran the correlation.

Bingo!  Chocolate consumption correlates with the number of Nobel prize winners.

Correlation, alas, is not causation, but who cares?

Everybody loves chocolate.  Enjoy! (In moderation, of course).

  • Well what’s a Nobel Prize winner to do with all the chocolates Sweden hands him as a gift?

  • I heard about this study on NPR, and it made me laugh out loud. I do love a good correlation, though! I wonder if the chocolate consumption of actual Nobel laureates maintains the trend .. regardless, I’m going to go eat some chocolate and do my part for the next US Nobel prize winner!

  • Elle

    It’s not a real study you know but a parody on ridiculous studies that look only at the p-value and forget logic…

    I was really surprised that the NEJM published it like that – maybe it was to test the readers.