Health Buzz: What Chocolate Has to Do With Depression

Why type 1 diabetes is on the rise; why you're not at low risk of heart disease.


What Chocolate Has to Do With Depression

Feeling depressed might put you in the mood for chocolate, a new study suggests. Of nearly 1,000 adults studied, those diagnosed with depression ate an average of 8.4 servings of chocolate per month versus 5.4 servings consumed by participants who were not depressed, researchers found. The group deemed most depressed ate an average of 11.8 servings of chocolate each month, HealthDay reports. What is behind the depression-chocolate connection? Experts offered several theories. Study author Beatrice Golomb of the University of California, San Diego, told HealthDay that many people believe "when they are feeling a little bit down, chocolate makes them feel better." [Read more: Chocolate a Sweet Pick-Me-Up for the Depressed.]

5 Reasons That May Explain Why Type 1 Diabetes Is on the Rise

It's no secret that type 1 diabetes is on the rise in children. If current trends continue, new cases in kids younger than 5 could double by 2020, according to a study published last year in The Lancet. What's up for debate are the reasons for this increase. Scientists aren't sure just yet, but a new book called Diabetes Rising: How a Rare Disease Became a Modern Pandemic, and What to Do About It, by freelance medical journalist Dan Hurley, explores the possibilities.

"Type 1 diabetes seems to be going up at a level of 3 percent a year in the United States," says Hurley, himself a longtime type 1 diabetes sufferer. "If we can find out what is causing that, we can prevent a lot of people from getting it." Clearly, he says, there is something going on in the environment—in the way people live—that is partly responsible. U.S. News's January Payne asked Hurley to discuss the leading theories scientists have for explaining why more kids are falling prey to type 1 diabetes and why more are expected to in the future. [Read more: 5 Reasons That May Explain Why Type 1 Diabetes Is on the Rise.]

Are You at Low Risk for Heart Disease? Probably Not

New government data shows that nearly half of Americans have at least one of three risk factors for cardiovascular disease, HealthDay reports. Forty-five percent of people who responded to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes, putting them at increased risk of heart disease and stroke. American Heart Association president Clyde Yancy attributes the findings to what he called "the burden of obesity" in the U.S. "Obesity is directly related to high blood pressure, directly related to diabetes, directly related to an abnormal lipid profile," Yancy told HealthDay.

Fewer than 10 percent of Americans qualify as being at low risk for heart disease, U.S. News's Deborah Kotz wrote in September. That's a decrease from 15 years ago, when 10.5 percent fell into the low-risk category. We're going backward, Kotz wrote, despite the fact that experts know a lot more today about preventing heart problems than they did a decade or two ago. [Read more: Are You at Low Risk for Heart Disease? Probably Not.]

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