Fun yet serious commentary on the chocolate/Nobel prize study in the New England Journal of Medicine (disclosure: I like chocolate but do not pretend it does me much good, intellectually or otherwise). Quote:
What other factor might possibly be related to the number of Nobel Laureates? I think the graph provides a strong suggestion and I am again surprised that the author missed speculating about it. The Scandinavian countries rank at the top of the graph on the right and they are known to rank high both on the Human Development Index (HDI) and in per capita income. Couldn’t it just be possible that higher chocolate consumption simply means greater affluence and an improved lifestyle? Put simply, people who eat more chocolate are likely to be better off (and perhaps even happier?). Greater affluence means better higher education, research opportunities and perhaps Nobel Prizes. I still don’t think this set of socioeconomic factors can be directly connected to Nobel Prizes, but I really think it’s far more likely to track with Nobel Prizes than chocolates and their flavanols. Other questions besiege my embattled brain; was chocolate consumption in Germany very high during those miserable post-World War 1 years when the country produced all those physics Nobel Prize winners? Does the high percentage of Nobel Laureates in Switzerland reflect its neutral, relatively peaceful status during wars rather than the health benefits of Swiss chocolate?