File this under studies we'd like to participate in.
We've already posted about studies linking chocolate to better health and glowing skin, but this particular story caught my attention. Aussie researchers did a study to determine the effects of sweets cravings on concentration- especially for vital tasks, like driving.
As someone who has to open our website, Facebook page and Twitter feed several times a day (OMG, the background!), I am fairly familiar with this phenomenon. Often when confronted with tasty, tasty images of chocolate, distraction is a typical outcome. This study measured what happened to subjects when they really needed a chocolate fix and were stuck:
"Fighting an all-consuming desire for chocolate ice cream can have consequences ranging from memory lapses to car crashes, say scientists...
They found that volunteers whose favourite chocolate bar was unwrapped and within their reach while they sat a series of tests had slower reactions and poorer memories than those who did the same tests in a chocolate-free zone."
Hmm... you think we might see high-quality chocolate bars included in car maintenance kits any time soon? The scientists concluded:
"Although cognitive effects of individual food cravings are likely to be small, in practice even small reductions in cognitive resources have the potential to compromise optimal performance in everyday situations, thereby reducing work efficiency or increasing the likelihood of accidents."
So while the effects of a massive chocolate jones on your ability to concentrate are likely to be "small," working or driving while images of a tasty, tasty chocolate loop across your conscious mind is just as distracting as it seems. Right now, I'm being drawn by the Mexican Hot Chocolate Love Bar. Are you being distracted by chocolate today?