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Chocolate 'can make you slim'

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Recently we've been hit by a slew of fantastic - if slightly unbelievable - food news, including the launch of Mr Kipling cake dispensers and the health benefits of popcorn.

Perhaps the greatest of all these is the announcement this week that chocolate can help you slim down.

We'll repeat that for a moment just for those doubters at the back: chocolate really can make you thinner.

Researchers at the University of California have found that the majority of people who eat chocolate regularly have less body fat than those who do not. They studied the diet, calorie intake and body mass index of 1,000 people in the US.

Consumed in moderation - and this is the key bit - they discovered that a small amount of chocolate eaten throughout the week can actually boost metabolism, making the body work harder to burn off fat.

Despite increasing calorie intake, regular chocolate consumption was related to lower BMI in the study, published in Archives of Internal Medicine.

"Our findings appear to add to a body of information suggesting that the composition of calories, not just the number of them, matters for determining their ultimate impact on weight," said Dr Beatrice Golomb, leading the research.

"In the case of chocolate, this is good news, both for those who have a regular chocolate habit, and those who wish to start one."

In celebration of this frankly genius nugget of information, check out our gratuitous selection of mouth-watering chocolate snaps, above and below.

Do you believe chocolate can make you slimmer? And will this research spur on your penchant for the sweet stuff? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments section below.

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