back to article Hankering for a Nobel Prize? EAT MORE CHOCOLATE

A California researcher has discovered a strong correlation between chocolate consumption and the degree of smarts that results in being awarded a Noble Prize. In "Chocolate habits of Nobel prizewinners", published in Thursday's edition of Nature, Beatrice Golomb of the University of California, San Diego, notes that of the 23 …


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  1. Petrea Mitchell

    Causal test?

    But what were their chocolate habits before winning? Did they eat more than was typical for their cohort then? Or is chocoholism a side effect of winning a major scientific prize?

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Did you know that?

    There's a correlation between shark attacks and ice cream sales.

    Did they take into account cocoa content and composition as well? Chocolate in one country is not the same as another.

  3. CCCP

    Uhm... slow day?

    Even the beeb has this back in November, with the exact same graph. We do pay attention.

    1. Steve Knox

      Re: Uhm... slow day?

      The BBC article only references the Messerli study (whence came the graph) -- not the Golomb study. Re-read the Reg article, and you'll see it's primarily about the newer study.

  4. Steve Knox

    Obvious Confounding Variable.

    The Swiss have the most award recipients, and eat the most chocolate. The next several countries in both categories enjoy relatively open borders with Switzerland, enabling cross-pollination opportunities.

    Check your genealogy: if you have Swiss blood in you, you may be prone to eating a lot of chocolate, or to performing extraordinary tasks solely for small quantities of metal and a sizeable quantity of dosh.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ummm - I think this is a hoax. Correlation is not causation! This was looked into on more or less on radio 4 by Tim Harford some months ago, and I think the guys at the following blog showed similar relationships between car crashes and Nobel laureates (and chocolate consumption to serial killer rates);

    1. The Wild Tomcat

      Re: A.C. @ 19:58

      "Correlation is not causation!"

      As if that matters in this case...

      Beer, 'cause some folks like it like I like chocolate.

  6. minky

    The researchers seemed to have overlooked...

    ...that in addition to a cash prize each laureate also receives 274839 Mars Bars?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The researchers seemed to have overlooked...

      "274839 Mars Bars"

      I'll have those fried please.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ...we all know they eat a lot of chocolate, well us married men know that... So if the Chocolate / Nobel Prize correlation is correct then most Nobel Prize winners should be women.

  8. John Deeb

    The graph seems to be more like a combination of general standard of living combined with importance of chocolate culturally in terms of local confectionery and pastry preferences, plus some added random elements. To me that's Occam's Razor in action: we already have a very simple reason of why we see this distribution. No need to find arcane reasons!

    It's true that one needs to explain Belgium but their Burgundian attitude might conflict with Nobel aspirations, at times :-)

    1. Squander Two

      "It's true that one needs to explain Belgium"

      I go to Belgium every year, and I can't explain the place. Especially the driving.

  9. fritsd


    Chocolate made at least 20% of what I am today!

  10. Martin Budden

    Are they deliberately fishing for an Ig Nobel Prize?

    1. Velv

      Perhaps if the conclusion were extrapolated in extremis they'd be in line for a Darwin

  11. Jtom

    Aw, c'mon. Don't you think Al Gore could have totally skewed the results all by himself? Look at him. He's the size of a small country. His methane emissions must be creating more climate change than a city.

  12. frank ly

    "Nobelists could understate chocolate consumption to amplify the appearance that native prowess led to their Prize ..."

    I'm sure that a Nobel prize winner would never falsify data for their own benefit.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm sure that a Nobel prize winner would never falsify data for their own benefit.

      I'm sure that once you have a Nobel prize, you pretty much dont need to falsify data to gain benefit; benefits will flow regardless of how mundane your subsequent work is. Why put a Nobel-sized reputation at risk with fakery?

  13. stupormundi


    Of course Nobel price winners eat more chocolate than other people, they are rich because of the price money they have received. Obviously they buy more chocolate, duh.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hang on a moment...

    May be my failing eyesight - but I don't see any attributions to Israeli persons.

    1. Is this credible, bearing in mind generally prestigious accomplishments by such persons in very many fields of intellectual endeavour?

    2. Is this true?

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