Consumption of chocolate is linked to lower levels of total and central fat independently of whether or not the individual participates in regular physical activity and of diet, among other factors, say researchers.
University of Granada researchers from the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences determined whether greater chocolate consumption associated with higher body mass index and other indicators of total and central body fat in adolescents participating.
The study involved 1458 adolescents aged between 12 and 17 years and results showed that a higher level of chocolate consumption associated with lower levels of total (fat deposited all over the body) and central (abdominal) fat when these were estimated through body mass index, body fat percentage.
These results were independent of the participant's sex, age, sexual maturation, total energy intake, intake of saturated fats, fruit and vegetables, consumption of tea and coffee, and physical activity.
Principle author Magdalena Cuenca-Garcia explained that chocolate is rich in flavonoids-especially catechins-which have many healthy properties: "they have important antioxidant, antithrombotic, anti-inflammatory and antihypertensive effects and can help prevent ischemic heart disease".
The study is published in the journal Nutrition.