Increased chocolate consumption key to success

HRM 30 Nov 2012

Wanting to get ahead in business? Well, if the results of a new study can be relied upon, the road to success could be made smoother by increasing individual chocolate consumption.

According to survey findings recently reported in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, the higher a country's chocolate consumption, the more Nobel laureates it produces per capita.

Franz Messerli, from New York’s St Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, embarked on the research after seeing a study that linked flavonoids, a type of antioxidants present in cocoa and wine, to better scores on cognitive tests. He then plotted a graph using industry data on chocolate intake in 23 countries and a Wikipedia list of countries ranked according to the number of Nobel laureates per capita.

He could not believe his eyes when he saw the results, Messerli told media. “All the countries linked up neatly, with higher chocolate intake tied to more Nobel laureates.”

Perhaps not surprisingly, Switzerland came in first, followed by Sweden and then Denmark. However, the amount of chocolate involved was “actually quite stunning”, he said. “The Swiss eat 120 bars – that is, 3-ounce bars (85 grams) – per year, for every man, woman and child. That's the average.”

The data was legitimate, but the results probably did show the fallibility of science, Messerli admitted.

National chocolate consumption is correlated with a country's wealth – as is high-quality research, American physicist and Nobel laureate (physics) Eric Cornell told media. “Therefore chocolate is going to be correlated with high-quality research, but there is no causal connection there.”

Swiss-born Messerli said that he ate chocolate every day and believes good chocolate has real health effects, while Cornell – who also claimed to eat a large amount of chocolate – joked that “milk chocolate makes you stupid… and dark chocolate is the way to go”.

So perhaps HR pros looking for an easy way to give their staff, and company, a bit of a boost should start handing out regular doses of good, dark chocolate to employees.

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