Chocolate has long been under debate. Does it increase blood circulation? Will it lower cholesterol? Does the health benefits of chocolate outweigh its consequences? I decided to look more closely at three articles that all give explanations to the question, is chocolate good of bad for your health?
The first article is a report by CNN that outlines only the benefits of chocolate. From increasing blood flow to boosting your memory, this article details a wide variety of reasons why it is advantageous for one to consume chocolate. The fact that "136 studies on coco" (Ingall) were examined makes it appear that these sources are reputable, yet we have no understanding of how these studies were actually conducted. The statement, "In a small study at Indiana..." (Ingall) may also seem questionable. We have no reason to believe that these studies are actually valid. A study that involves only 24 women should also raise some eyebrows. A study this small might not represent the population as a whole.
Another article that appears to be knowledgeable on the topic of chocolate also raises many questions to the critical thinker. Softpedia writes solely of the consequences of chocolate consumption. The article states that chocolate "...could cause weaker bones and osteoporosis" (Anitel) while also saying that it "may induce more harm than increased fatty deposits..." (Anitel). The words 'could' and 'may' should inform the reader that there is no concrete evidence. As with much of science, these statements are just hypothesis that are being developed and examined. This article described a study of 1,001 females, which, when comparing to the study described above with 24 women, seems that the results could be considered valid, but we should still be reluctant. Was random selection and random assignment involved?
Finally I looked at an article by MSNBC that looked at both the good and bad of eating chocolate. The article describes "new research" that eating chocolate may lower the risk of heart disease. Critical thinkers should see this and understand that new research does not provide definite answers. There has yet to be other sources and research that can support its findings. On the other hand, the article later talks of research that "pooled results from 7 studies involving 100,000 people" (Reuters). The large amount of people involved in this study and the fact that 7 studies were looked at total should increase the likelihood of the validity of these findings.
While these articles all propose different answers to the question, there is no clear-cut answer. I think that more studies and better support are necessary to establish any health benefits or consequences regarding chocolate consumption. One must learn from this that not all sources can be trusted. The controversial nature of these articles prove that sources should be looked at closely for their reliability before one can trust its findings.
CNN Report: Marjorie Ingall
Softpedia: Stefan Anitel
MSNBC: Thomson Reuters