Intended for healthcare professionals

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Rapid response to:


Chocolate consumption and cardiometabolic disorders: systematic review and meta-analysis

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 29 August 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4488

Rapid Response:

Good and Bad Chocolate

This systematic review and meta-analysis highlights something
important; patients calorie count but do not density count.

I think more emphasis should be paid to the calorie breakdown on the
front of food packaging. Although manufacturers have made an attempt to
improve information provision about the calorie content of chocolate, it
only appears as calories per bar or half a bar on the front packaging.

As a consumer, I believe it may be the saturated fat and sugar
content of chocolate that makes most of us want to indulge; the more of it
the better it tastes. If the packaging was to show this on the front,
instead of e.g. 240 calories (10% of GDA), it may make it easier to convey
this information to patients. We've seen this on some foods, but chocolate
is lagging behind.

We have already established that too much sugar and saturated fat has
detrimental effects on patients' health. So, rather than focusing on
trials to estimate how much chocolate is good for someone, the focus
should be on deterring patients from eating bad chocolate.

Competing interests: No competing interests

31 August 2011
Saiji Nageshwaran
University College London