Easter weekend: the only time of the year when you can reasonably gorge on hideous amounts of chocolate without getting concerned looks from friends and family. So you ate a whole egg in one go, so what? You can because, not only is it the weekend, it’s Easter weekend. Or so you tell yourself as you siphon your guilt away along with the evidence of the empty wrappers. If only chocolate was actually good for you… if eating chocolate could make you slimmer.

But hang on, maybe this isn’t an altogether ridiculous idea, or at least scientists in California have given us hope yet for a guilt free Easter weekend. In a study published last week, they reported findings that actually, ‘more frequent chocolate intake is linked to lower BMI.’ And this isn’t just one of those oddball theories or the rat research schpeel that the tabloids sell. They investigated over 1000 men and women aged 20-85 to find that those who ate more chocolate tended to have a lower BMI, largely independent of factors like calorie intake and exercise.  In fact, they posit that eating chocolate regularly can have a positive effect on BMI. So maybe it isn’t so outlandish to imagine that chocolate is good for you after all.

With this in mind, don’t hold back on indulging yourself this weekend; tuck into your chocolates guilt free in the assurance that, thanks to scientists in California, it’s just what the doctor ordered.

Based on the findings of ‘Association Between More Frequent Chocolate Consumption and Lower Body Mass Index’ Dr Golomb, S. Koperski & Dr White, Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(6):519-521