Ipswich/UK: It’s official - scoffing chocs can help you LOSE weight

IPSWICH: It’s the story every choccy lover has yearned for.

Forget the gym or going for a swim – eating more chocolate is the key to a thinner physique, according to a new study.

The findings, published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, says it has found a link between the amount of the confectionary people scoff and their Body Mass Index (BMI).

Chocoholics have long been comforted by the reassurance that the dark variety is good for you and can even make you happier – but this is the first time anyone has linked it to size.

And with Easter just around the corner, the study is excellent news for anyone worried about munching too much of their favourite treat.

The survey from the University of California found those who ate chocolate on more days of the week than average were more likely to have a lower BMI than those who didn’t.

Your BMI represents the amount of fat in your body, calculated using your weight and height.

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The normal range for adults is between 18.5 and 25. Anything between 25 and 30 is considered overweight, while those with BMIs in excess of 30 are classified as obese.

The study also found people who ate more chocolate than average didn’t necessarily consume more calories.

Dr Beatrice Golomb, who led the study, said: “Our findings appear to add to a body of information that the composition of calories, not just the number of them, matters for determining their ultimate impact on weight.

“In the case of chocolate this is good news - both for those who have a regular habit and those who may wish to start one.”

But the report adds that some foods containing chocolate will have a negative effect on your BMI - as will eating excessive quantities of it.

Michael Hattrell, NHS Suffolk’s health improvement manager, said: “The average BMI of participants was 28 meaning they are already overweight, but there’s no harm in eating chocolate in moderation as part of a healthy diet.”

n Do you think eating chocolate has health benefits? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or alternatively you can send an e-mail to starnews@archant.co.uk