Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Oops – Hershey Sponsored the Study?

If you will remember, one of my key themes is “Who sponsors the study?” I love studies, and I also love going behind the scenes to find out where the funding is coming from (ok, ok, grammar-nazis, from where the funding is coming.)

So, checking around for the credentials on my previous story about chocolate being good for your heart, I found the below, which I excerpted from The International Herald Tribune. Let the chocolate buyer beware!

During a talk with analysts in October, the Hershey chief executive, Richard Lenny, called the dark-chocolate category a “major growth platform.” He told of a new Yale study sponsored by Hershey’s, and yet to be put through peer reviews, that found that eating Hershey’s Extra Dark chocolate improved blood pressure and blood flow because of the candy’s level of natural flavanol antioxidants.

In the study, 45 people were fed 2.6 ounces, or two servings, of Extra Dark, which also contained 26 grams of fat.

“These results enable us to better communicate with consumers the positive aspects of antioxidants and dark chocolate,” Lenny said.

Such claims are troubling to Mars’s chief scientist, Harold Schmitz, a driving force behind the development of CocoaVia. He said competitors were potentially misleading consumers by talking about antioxidants in chocolate when it was the level of flavanols that really made a difference.

Bonnie Liebman, nutrition director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said that when it came to flavanols, “the marketing is getting ahead of the science.” She noted that two recent studies, including one from Harvard, had found no link between flavanols and any reduced risk of breast cancer or heart disease.

A spokeswoman for Hershey, Stephanie Moritz, denied that the company was exploiting the excitement over flavanols and said that a range of studies had linked dark chocolate to health benefits for the heart.

Bottom line: Sponsored by Hershey’s.

March 24, 2007 - Posted by | Diet / Weight Loss, Health Issues, Statistics, Women's Issues

1 Comment »

  1. Anytime a company sponsors a study on their own product the research is suspect. I think one can have some chocolate in their diet and remain thin or lose weight. The amount of sugar in their product may outweigh the antioxidant effect.

    Comment by Biblical Food Diet | June 25, 2007 | Reply

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