So all of the major news networks (and some not so major, such as NPR) in late April reported on a new study which links chocolate with depression. The authors of the study are “not sure if eaters are already depressed and are self-medicating, or whether chocolate causes depression, or whether there is some complex interaction between chocolate and depression.” Ok, the third option is a total cop out, I think. Obviously, it’s either A, or B.
I noted that most of the comments totally pooh-poohed the entire study. Why would this be? A), because armchair scientists generally disagree with anything they don’t like. There is also a more rationally defensible point B), which is that new studies are coming out all the time; some say chocolate is good for you, others bad, some say butter is good, others say it’s bad, some say margerine is good, others say bad, etc. Of course, this will always be the case. But one has to train oneself to pick out the propaganda (much of it paid for by a given industry–“tobacco isn’t bad! offshore drilling is safe!, etc .”), and also to determine which studies are fad-based, and which are probably based on something more scientifically sound (e.g., cholesterol does cause heart disease–albeit they now know that some cholesterol is worse than others, etc).
Which brings us to the point, does chocolate cause depression? And is it just chocolate, or do other cocoa-based, caffeine-bearing products such as coffee and coca-cola also cause depression? (more…)