Association between chocolate consumption and fatness in European adolescents

Cuenca-García, M.; Ruiz, J. R.; Ortega, F. B.; Castillo, M. J.
December 2012
Nutricion Hospitalaria;dic2012 suplemento 3, Vol. 27, p56
Introduction: There is a substantial interest in the potential role of chocolate in prevention and managements of cardiovascular diseases. Recent reports in adults suggest that chocolate consumption is also associated with lower body mass index (BMI). However, chocolate has been considered an unhealthy food due to plenty of calories. Objectives: To assess the association between chocolate consumption and BMI as well as other markers of total and central body fat in European adolescents participating in the Healthy Lifestyle in European by Nutrition in Adolescents-Cross-Sectional Study. Methodology: The study comprised a total of 1,458 adolescents (45% males). Dietary intake was self-registered by the adolescents using a computer-based tool for 24-h dietary recall on 2 non-consecutive days. Weight and height were measured, and BMI was calculated. Adiposity was estimated using skinfolds (Slaughter's equation) and bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA). Waist circumference was measured. Sexual maturation was also collected. Time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity was measured by accelerometry. Results: Higher chocolate consumption was associated with lower levels of total and central fatness, as estimated by BMI, body fat estimated from skinfolds and BIA, and waist circumference; regardless of sex, age, sexual maturation, total energy, saturated fat, fruit and vegetables intake, as well as physical activity (P ≤ 0.01). Conclusion: A higher chocolate consumption was associated with lower central and total fatness in European adolescents, regardless of a set of relevant confounders. Identification of lifestyle factors related to prevent weight and fat gain over the first decades of life is important from a clinical point of view.


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