‘Study' ties eating chocolate to winning Nobels

By MARILYNN MARCHIONE and KARL RITTER Published: October 11, 2012
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Curiously, Sweden should have produced only 14 winners according to its appetite for chocolate, yet it had 32. Messerli speculates that the Nobel panel, based in Sweden, may have “patriotic bias” toward fellow countrymen — or that Swedes are very sensitive to the effects of chocolate so that “even minuscule amounts greatly enhance their cognition.”

It is possible, he admits, that chocolate isn't making people smart, but that smart people who are more likely to win Nobels are aware of chocolate's benefits and therefore more likely to consume it.

Sven Lidin, the chairman of the Nobel chemistry prize committee, had not seen the study but was giggling so much when told of it that he could barely comment.

“I don't think there is any direct cause and effect,” Lidin said. “The first thing I'd want to know is how chocolate consumption correlates to gross domestic product.”

Messerli also calculated the “dose” of chocolate needed to produce an additional Nobel winner — about 14 ounces per person per year, or about nine Hershey bars.

He discloses that he is doing his part — he eats chocolate daily, mostly Lindt dark.