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When Franz Messerli saw some research that hinted that certain antioxidants present in cocoa and wine could help improve cognitive ability he began to research chocolate and the consumption taking place around the world. What he says he found is a direct correlation between the amount of chocolate a country consumes and the amount of Nobel Laureates it produces.
The Swiss sit a top of the group with an annual chocolate consumption of 120 3 ounce bars a year for the average male. They're followed by the Danes and the Swedes and each country also shares this same order when it comes to the amount of people to receive Noble Prize's per capita.
His study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, begins by showing that certain flavanols, which are widely present in cocoa, green tea, red wine, and some fruits, seem to be effective in slowing down or even reversing the reductions in cognitive performance that occur with aging. Using this he posed the question - Can chocolate consumption have an affect on an entire populations' cognitive ability?
Franz Messerli admits that the findings are most obviously absurd but that the figures are certainly there to back up the claims but Eric Cornell, who shared a Nobel Prize for Physics, suggested that the link to Nobel Lareauttes may have more to do with a country's wealth rather than its chocolate consumption, "National chocolate consumption is correlated with a country's wealth and high-quality research is correlated with a country's wealth, therefore chocolate is going to be correlated with high-quality research."
He also joked that his own Nobel Prize was down to his high intake of dark chocolate and said to avoid the milky stuff as it makes you stupid.