Sweet babies: chocolate consumption during pregnancy and infant temperament at six months
Raikkonen K, Pesonen AK, Jarvenpaa AL, Strandberg TE.
Department of Psychology, P.O. Box 9,
00014 University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
Early Hum Dev. 2004 Feb;76(2):139-45


BACKGROUND: Chocolate contains several biologically active components potentially having behavioral and psychological consequences. AIMS: We tested whether chocolate consumption and stress experiences during pregnancy predict mother-rated infant temperament at 6 months. DESIGN AND SUBJECTS: Prenatal frequency of chocolate consumption and intensity of psychological stress experience of the mothers, and temperament characteristics of the infants 6 months postpartum were evaluated in 305 consecutive, healthy mother-infant dyads. RESULTS: Mothers who reported daily consumption of chocolate rated more positively the temperament of their infants at 6 months. Maternal prenatal stress predicted more negatively tuned ratings of the infant temperament, particularly among those who reported never/seldom chocolate consumption. However, this effect was not observed among the mothers reporting weekly or daily chocolate consumption. CONCLUSIONS: In addition to producing subjective feelings of psychological well being, chocolate may have effects at multiple environmental and psychological levels.

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