A study conducted by Dr. Franz H. Messerli, cardiologist at St. Luke’s–Roosevelt Hospital in New York City, shows that chocolate does make us smarter.
Considering the benefits that cocoa consumption brings to human brain activity, previously discovered and accepted in the medical field, Dr. Messerli raised the problem to a new level. So he wondered if there was a link between a nation's chocolate intake and its general intellectual level.
Messerli thought the number of won Nobel Prizes as a reference for the country's intelligence level. Therefore, he took the given number and compared it with the amount of chocolate consumed by the country's inhabitants.
“When you correlate the two - the chocolate consumption with the number of Nobel prize laureates per capita - there is an incredibly close relationship,” declares Messerli.
Switzerland proved to be the country with the highest annual chocolate consumption as well as with the biggest number of Nobel Prize winners per capita.
The two countries that followed were Sweden, second place, and Denmark, third place.
The middle of the hierarchy is occupied by the U.S., Netherlands, Ireland, France, Belgium and Germany, while at the end of the list comes China, Japan and Brazil. (Full results can be found here
The researcher has even made a hypothetical calculation for the amount of chocolate needed to raise the number of Noble prizes won by a given nation, Time
There have been divided opinions related to Messerli's conclusions. Some of them were indulgent, others supportive, but there have been some not very flattering comments as well.
“Personally I feel that milk chocolate makes you stupid. Now dark chocolate is the way to go. It’s one thing if you want like a medicine or chemistry Nobel Prize, O.K., but if you want a physics Nobel Prize it pretty much has got to be dark chocolate,” said Eric Cornell, American physicist and winner of Nobel prize in 2001, on an ironic note.