That's no Moon Pie...
Eating chocolate a few times a week may be linked to weight loss, according to a new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Although chocolate is high in calories, researchers say dark chocolate contains antioxidants called catechins that increase lean muscle mass and promote weight loss. Mice on a 15-day regimen of epicatechin showed improved exercise performance and changes to their muscle composition.
"Our findings appear to add to a body of information suggesting that the composition of calories, not just the number of them, matters for determining their ultimate impact on weight," said study author Beatrice Golomb, of the University of California San Diego.
Clinical trials to test the effect in humans haven't yet been carried out, but the study did find that humans who ate chocolate a few times a week were slimmer on average than those who ate it less often. (The total amount of chocolate consumed didn't seem to be a factor.)
So far, the researchers have only found a link between regular chocolate intake and weight loss -- they haven't confirmed that one causes the other.