Chocolate Weight Loss Study's Authors Reveal Report Was Fake (UPDATE)

UPDATE: May 29 -- The author of the study, John Bohannon, recently revealed that the clinical trial he ran along with his colleagues (mentioned below) was not a real study, but an experiment conducted to prove the lack of investigation and inaccurate science published online when it came to diet research.

Bohannon said that the operation was set in place last year in collaboration with a German television reporter, Peter Onneken and Diana Löbl, as well as a general practitioner Gunter Frank. He went on to explain that they actually did recruit German subjects, and put them into three different diet groups (a low-carb diet, a low-carb diet with 1.5oz of dark chocolate, and one with no changes to the current diet). Their observations recorded a 10 per cent weight loss in the group that consumed chocolate as well as better cholesterol readings and higher scores on the well-being survey. However, Bohannon explained why this did not matter: "if you measure a large number of things about a small number of people, you are almost guaranteed to get a “statistically significant” result," he said in his confessional report.

Bohannon also said that he was hopeful that his experiment would make reporters and readers more skeptical" of online reports and studies.


A new research has revealed that chocolate can aid weight loss when combined with a low-carb diet.

Johannes Bohannon, research director of the nonprofit Institute of Diet and Health, said that what is important is the specific combination of foods in your diet when trying to shed those extra pounds, the Daily Express reported.

Bohannon added that just lowering the proportion of carbohydrates is not a reliable weight loss intervention because it has different physiological effect depending on the bioactive compounds in your diet.

Chocolate is a rich source of bioactive compounds, particularly a group of molecules called flavonoids, plant compounds associated with several positive health impacts.

The German researchers divided volunteers aged 19 to 67 into three groups to find out whether consuming chocolate in combination with dietary interventions has no effect or it makes such diets even more effective in the right dose.

One group followed a strict low-carbohydrate diet, another group followed the low-carbohydrate diet and also consumed 42 grams of dark (81 percent) chocolate per day, and a control group followed their normal diet.

They found that the low-carb group lost weight compared to the control, but surprisingly, the low-carb plus chocolate group lost 10 percent more weight.

Bohannon noted that the effect of chocolate is real, adding that it is not enough to just consume chocolate, but in combination with exercise and reduction in carbohydrates, the data indicate that chocolate can be a weight loss accelerator.

The best part about this discovery is that people can buy chocolate everywhere, cheaply and without having to believe diet gurus or purchase expensive nutrition products over the Internet, concluded Bohannon.

The study is published in the International Archives of Medicine.