For people who care about their food

Sorry, eating chocolate is not exercise

A young woman about to bite into a bar of dark chocolateSorry to be the bearer of bad news if you believe what you read in the newspapers. There is no evidence to suggest that eating dark chocolate is as good as exercise for humans. Hope that didn’t spoil your day.

A report was released recently which concerned a study of 25 one-year-old mice. The mice were found to have improved energy levels after being fed epicatechin, a naturally-occurring chemical found in dark chocolate. It was a scholarly study and the conclusions did not suggest that eating chocolate was a substitute for exercise in humans. The report was published, after peer review, in The Journal of Physiology.

Presumably it must have been a slow news day as several of the sillier British newspapers pounced on this exciting “news” and published stories to suggest that the health benefits of eating dark chocolate are as good as exercising. Here’s a small selection, from the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mirror and the Daily Mail. At least the Smellygraph and the Heil illustrated their nonsense with pictures of dark chocolate, but the Mirror couldn’t even get that simple fact right and illustrated theirs with a picture of what clearly looked like milk chocolate.

It seems the NHS was concerned about this and wrote an article entitled “Eating chocolate is not exercise”, refuting the claims made by the newspapers and describing their stories as an over-reaction to the scientific report.



So don’t throw away your exercise bike or gym membership yet. Even so, a little of what you fancy does you good, so check out what we have here on Not Delia in our chocolate fest this month.

6 Responses to “Sorry, eating chocolate is not exercise”

  1. Kendal Self-Catering

    I have a cold / man flu at the moment so I can’t really go to the gym.

    I suppose I can still consume chocolate, though, so I’m off to the newsagents now having read this (seriously, I am… one red Bounty coming up!) 🙂

  2. Not Delia

    Bleargh! I never liked Bounty bars. Get a Twix or a Mars Bar or maybe even a Crunchie – they’re good for you!

  3. Man in Greasy Shirt

    Mars bars were expedition fare when I was a kid. Used to knead them into a ball before chewing lumps off them – none of those bite-szed mini-bar things.

  4. Not Delia

    Why did you knead it into a ball? That doesn’t sound appetising at all. You could simply have cut the big bar into smaller pieces. Nowt as queer as folk. 😉

  5. Cocoa Solids – what do all these numbers mean? | Not Delia

    […] Chocolate contains ingredients other than cocoa solids, such as sugar, milk and lecithin (a stabiliser made from egg yolks), so the higher the percentage of cocoa solids, the healthier the bar is considered to be. There are certain health benefits to be derived from eating a moderate amount of dark chocolate high in cocoa solids but, as I mentioned before, eating chocolate is not exercise. […]

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