There's an age old question about that is, “Can you really get addicted to chocolates?”

 I don't believe the group called Chocoholics Anonymous has been developed yet, but there certainly has been a bunch of clamor over the years about chocolate addiction. The line has been drawn in other Anonymous groups, but where is the line going to be drawn for folks who just love chocolates?

 In the beginning we had, and some still say we have them, chocolate lovers who may have turned into chocoholics or became addicted to chocolates. Who knows except the person eating all those chocolates? The word is that some scientists have even isolated the results of the effects of chocolates to the same effects of marijuana. And we all know that is a prohibited drug unless you happen to have a medical prescription for it.

 Marijuana has an addicting drug in it called tetrahydrocannabinol or (THC) that has or provides an euphoria or sense of well-being to those who use it and this can be dangerous. Now, do we really think chocolate has this drug in it? Those of us who love chocolates don't think so.

 It has been said that food cravings, such as those for chocolates, are often caused by emotions or emotional stress. A sudden shift from being happy to a less happy state can prompt the mind to look for food that could alleviate that less happy state. If you cannot find the right food, anxiety may develop. Interestingly enough such is evident in folks who suffer from seasonal affective disorder or women who have premenstrual syndrome.

 Women and Chocolate (Addiction)

 One of the stranger things in life is that women are more closely associated with chocolate addiction than men. If you really take a closer look at it, women often turn to their favorite sweet temptations during times of high emotional stress. A pretty well known fact is that chocolates have caffeine that can elevate the blood pressure and quicken your breathing. Some people experience this as a high.

 Many women experience food cravings on a monthly basis in close proximity to their menstruation. Their changes in hormonal levels do affect the mood and consequently dictate the cravings for certain foods which, in most cases for women, is chocolates.

 Most women claim that they get immense satisfaction from eating chocolates. They say this merely jump started a habit. This may just make sense because metabolized sugar produces serotonin in the body. This is a chemical responsible for the feeling of elation. Really, who wouldn't want to feel happy in the first place?

 Defined Addictive Responses to Chocolates

Some recent studies in Europe found that allowing their respondents the ability to eat liberal amounts of chocolates, and then cutting them back (not letting them eat the same amount) resulted in people salivating at the sight of chocolates. Much like Pavlov”s dog. Those people tended to feel anxious, deprived and depressed.

 Another interesting study conducted at Princeton showed rats that were fed sugar experienced anxiety once the sugar was removed from their diets. The symptoms they experienced were similar to someone addicted to nicotine and made to quit cold turkey. They had the shakes and their teeth were chattering.

 Quite interesting however, despite the test results, researchers believe that although the symptoms are similar, chocoholics are indeed not addicts. Fortunately there is no true chocolate addiction. There simply have been no chemical found in chocolate that appears to be addictive.

 So, why the problems when chocolate is taken away? It may be that these subjects are experiencing anxieties based on breaking the routine, or habit, of eating chocolates, or the habits formed when emotions get going and changing and eating something sweet.

 Another age old question, “But when do we say enough chocolate is enough?”

 If you are really not sure whether you are eating, or gorging, too much chocolate that may hamper your health, try reading and answering the following questions:


  1. Do you usually buy loads and loads of chocolates and keep them ever ready and in stock at home?

  2. Do you have more chocolate products in your refrigerator than you have fruits and vegetables?

  3. Do you have identified withdrawal symptoms such as shaking, anxiety, restlessness, sweating and teeth chattering when you don't get your chocolate?

  4. Do consume more than one (1) pound of chocolates each and every month?

  5. Can you last one day without eating chocolates?

 If you answered yes to most of these questions then, by all means, you are undoubtedly in trouble. Seriously, being a lover of chocolate is not bad, but you really do have to watch out for your health. Another old saying passed down through the ages is, “An ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure!”

 So, in the end, you are the one who must decide if you love chocolates or if chocolates love you. Either way, you should be able to tell when you have had enough. If you cannot tell this, you really must get some sort of professional help. Preferably someone who loves chocolate, but does not allow chocolate to love them.