Can Chocolate Prevent Stroke?

Based on an analysis of 37,103 Swedish men, researchers have found that men who ate the most chocolate had a 17 percent lower risk of stroke than men who avoided chocolate.

And because we all love chocolate so much, this study is being written about in hundreds of newspapers, websites and blogs around the world.

Unfortunately, the nature of this study doesn’t allow the researchers to conclude that chocolate consumption CAUSES a reduction in our risk of stroke. All they can say is that:

  1. Men who didn’t eat a moderate amount of chocolate were more likely to have a stroke, and
  2. Men who did eat a moderate amount of chocolate were less likely to have a stroke
  • We have no idea what else the chocolate eaters were or weren’t eating
  • We have no idea if the chocolate eaters had lower levels of stress due to lifestyle choices
  • We have no idea if the chocolate eaters were more likely to exercise
  • We have no idea if the chocolate eaters were more likely to take heart-healthy supplements

And that my friends is the difference between correlation and causation.

But then again… do we really need a healthy excuse to eat chocolate???


Douglas Robb

Doug Robb is a personal trainer, a fitness blogger and author, a competitive athlete, and a student of nutrition and exercise science. He's also the co-founder of the Hive Health Media. Since 2008, Doug has expanded his impact by bringing his real-world experience online via the health & fitness blog – Health Habits.

2 thoughts on “Can Chocolate Prevent Stroke?

  • September 11, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    This is about men reducing stroke risk by eating chocolate. So why the graphic of the clearly demented rabid female virtually gnawing her fingers off? Weird.

    • September 11, 2012 at 1:41 pm

      @Aaron – I believe that image was selected to encourage comments about it’s weirdness


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