Chocolate & Depression

If you are having a bad day, do you gravitate toward chocolaty treats? A new study from researchers at UC Davis and UC San Diego studied the moods and eating habits of 931 men and women who were not taking antidepressants, looking specifically at links between depression and consumption of fats, carbohydrates, caffeine and chocolate.
They found that the participants who reported bouts with depression ate more servings of chocolate per month than participants who did not report depression symptoms.  Researchers did not find a correlation between depression and fat, carbohydrate or caffeine consumption.

The reasons behind the chocolate/depression link are not clear. Chocolate prompts the release of the chemical dopamine, which results in elevated mood and may be one possible explanation, although a 2007 study published in the journal 'Appetie'  found that eating chocolate generally improves mood for only three minutes. It has been suggested that chocolate could be the cause for depression, but researchers doubt this theory.
The study was published by the LA Times April 27th, 2010.  Read the study on here.


The Kitchen Counter Diet

Researchers at Cornell University just released their findings after studying 78 adults' eating habits.  Their conclusion?  Less calories are consumed at the table when serving dishes are left on the counter.

"We looked at whether serving foods from the kitchen counter, instead of at the table, would reducde the number of times a person refilled his or her plate.  When we kept the serving dishes off the table, people ate 20 percent fewer calories.  Men ate close to 29 percent less," Professor Brian Wansink of Cornell University said in a statement. 

Wansink goes on to suggest put foods like fruits and vegetables out on the counter and stash the junk food away in the pantry. Out of sight, out of mind!