where trouble was needed

September 19, 2009

More Health Food?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Aravinda @ 1:53 pm

Comment on Chocolate as Health Food

This newsbyte about chocolate as health food has been popping up from time to time. Who funded this research?

The Mars Corporation recently endowed a chair in chocolate science at the University of California at Davis. While it may well have the reported health benefits, do we really need university research to promote chocolate?

NYT columnist Michael Pollan cautions against foods that make health claims.

Don’t most people who enjoy chocolate also enjoy the idea that they are “indulging,” and take pleasure in its naughtiness? Why throw that out the window in the name of health? Is it to encourage people to eat MORE of it and not just as an occasional treat?

As Michael Pollan said, “Fortunately for everyone playing this game, scientists can find an antioxidant in just about any plant-based food they choose to study.”

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=98690109

Gail Collins linked the issues of access to health care and access to higher education.

As costs skyrocket in both fields, don’t we need to question university research priorities?  Studying chocolate?  Really?  It doesn’t matter that the money may be coming from Mars Corporation (well it does matter to the integrity of the research, even if it doesn’t “cost” the university money to put its weight behind the results) —  is this what we want academia and higher education to become, and is this the way we want science to guide our decisions on health? (link)

ps … I agree with the other posters that when eating chocolate one has to consider a lot more than its anti-oxidants. All the more so if it comes loaded with sugar, etc. Most of all, considering its addictive quality, I would refrain from introducing it (or processed foods / sweets in general) to children until they are old enough to have developed tastes for a variety of healthy whole foods and mature enough to understand the concept of moderation, with proper modeling from the adults around them. With this foundation, one can enjoy processed foods / sweets without over-eating them or missing them when they’re not there.

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