Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Children and Chocolate

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Anyone who visits this blog on a regular basis knows it's only a matter of time before another post about chocolate pops up. A self-confessed chocoholic, it's little wonder that the following study caught my attention.

A study by Macquarie University has examined the effects of chocolate on the behaviour of preschool children in response to the popularly held belief that consumption of chocolate can lead normally, well-behaved children to become restless, inattentive, disobedient and aggressive.

Pre-schoolers were fed either chocolate or dried fruit and then observed while they listened to a story. Blind raters scored the children's behaviours according to six objective measures (wriggling, talking, looking away from the storyteller, standing up, fidgeting, aggressive behaviour) and two subjective measures based on the general level of movement and concentration.

The good news is that there no difference in behaviours were found between the group that ate chocolate and the group eating the dried fruit. The bad news? I guess I have no reason not to hand over that Freddo Frog.

Can I sign up for the adult study maybe?

Ingram, M., & Rapee, R. M. (2006). The effect of chocolate on the behaviour of preschool children. Behaviour Change, 23, 73-81.


tkj said...

I'd like to know how long it was before those chocolate-devoureres started to crash:)

Eating the choc-a-licious breakfast of champions always leaves me dying about 2 hours into the day!!!

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

I love, love, love this post!


psychgrad said...

Interesting...Maybe chocolate/sugar is related to acting up because it is associated with playtime in general. So, as long as the context is clearly not "playtime" the acting out will not occur.

Anonymous said...

have you ever seen kids on easter morning freak me out they are truly mental like some spinning out effect takes place and us parents go oh what the have we done ;)

Alison said...

I like chocolate. Chocolate is good.

Anonymous said...

Gotta love chocolate...

Anonymous said...

I love chocolate too, especially the dark kind. Isn't there a study that said dark chocolate is beneficial for us? Although, I did hear someone say it had to be a certain kind. Dark chocolate - good for us. Sounds so right doesn't it? :)

healthpsych said...

Chocolate for breakfast? I'm impressed!

Hi Deborah,
We always appreciate a mention of chocolate!

Hi Psychgrad,
That's an interesting point.

Hi Seaspray,
That's definitely right. There have been numerous studies proposing the benefits of dark chocolate. If only they extended to milk chocolate....
That would be me in our household ;)

Hi Alison,
That's my mantra!

Hi Little Student,
My husband loathes it. Strange man.

Sarebear said...

I'm taking mine tonight via Stephen's Candy Cane Cocoa. W/crushed bits of candy canes in it.


Chocolate . . .