Chocolate and Nobel Laureates

Posted on Jan 10th, 2013 at 9:05am.

The most delightful paper of the year award has to go to Franz Messerliís masterpiece in the New England Journal of Medicine, Chocolate Consumption, Cognitive Function, and Nobel Laureates. The key table from the paper shows the relationship between chocolate consumption and the likelihood of winning a Nobel Prize, by country.

Chocolate Consumption, Cognitive Function, and Nobel Laureates The correlation between chocolate intake and Nobels is striking. There are only three possible explanations: 1. Brilliant people eat more chocolate. 2. Eating chocolate makes you brilliant. 3. Eating chocolate and being brilliant are both related to some third, as-yet-unknown factor.

Beyond the correlation, itís noteworthy that Sweden has enjoyed more Nobel Laureates than its chocolate consumption would warrant, which raises obvious questions of Stockholm-based bias by the Swedish Nobel committee. I have had some serious conversations with my Swedish friends about this problem.

But the main point of the paper is that you now have a perfect justification for having indulged in holiday chocolates for the past several weeks. And who said medical journals are useless?

Jim Reinertsen January 2, 2013 Alta, Wyoming


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