Source: Daily Telegraph
Date: 17 April 2007

Chocolate 'more exciting than kissing'

chocolate lovers conduct experimental research

Eating chocolate is more stimulating to the heart and the head than kissing, according to new research.

Romantically attached couples were asked to wear heart monitors and had electrodes attached to their scalps by scientists, so their heart rate and brain activity could be measured.

After they were asked to taste pieces of dark chocolate and then to kiss their partners, the recordings of their brain activity and heart rate were analysed and showed that even the most passionate kisses could not match the "buzz" of chocolate.

The study found that at the point the chocolate melted in the mouth, all regions of the brain received a boost far more intense and longer lasting than the mental excitement from kissing.

Chocolate also set the heart pounding, with heart rates for some of the 12 volunteers rising from a resting rate of about 60 beats per minute to as high as 140.

Dr David Lewis, a psychologist formerly of the University of Sussex who led the study, said: "These results really surprised and intrigued us.

"While we fully expected chocolate - especially dark chocolate - to increase heart rates due to the fact it contains some highly stimulating substances, both the length of this increase together with the powerful effects it had on the mind were something none of us had anticipated."

Dr Lewis, who now runs a private research company called The Mind Lab, added: "There is no doubt that chocolate beats kissing hands down when it comes to providing a long-lasting body and brain buzz.

"A buzz that, in many cases, lasted four times as long as the most passionate kiss."

Although women are often thought to be bigger chocolate fans than men, both sexes showed the same responses in the tests, which were conducted using a new variety of Cadbury chocolate.


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