Among children ages 2 to 19 in America, 12.7 million are obese. Among adults ages 20 and older, 78.4 million are obese. As the American Heart Association reports, “If current trends in the growth of obesity continue, total healthcare costs attributable to obesity could reach $861 to $957 billion by 2030, which would account for 16 to 18 percent of U.S. health expenditures.” The numbers are outstanding, but the reality that the obesity epidemic is endangering our nation’s future is nothing new.
Obesity is a major risk factor for a host of health issues and a number of diseases. But according to a recent Penn State study, a solution to this might come from an unexpected place: cocoa powder.
While the experiment was performed on mice, not humans, it demonstrated surprising results with respect to how cocoa can positively affect the body in conjunction to obesity-related inflammation. Markers of diabetes were much lower in cocoa-fed mice than their cocoa-deprived peers. Moreover, they additionally demonstrated a reduced rate of weight gain. During the ten-week experiment, the mice consumed the equivalent of ten tablespoons of cocoa.
More research must be conducted to determine whether the pattern can extend to — and benefit — humans, but it may just be that a cup of hot cocoa isn’t so bad for us after all.