Dubai/Abu Dhabi/Fujairah: Chocolate has become one of the most commercialised products you can encounter. Despite the fact that chocolate has earned a reputation for being one of the causes of obesity and acne, scientific studies have proven that chocolate has its benefits.
Psychologists in the United Kingdom recently published a report which states that efforts to suppress desire to eat chocolates will ultimately lead to a rebound effect.
In an online poll conducted by Gulf News, 54 per cent said they did not believe there were any health benefits to eating chocolate.
City Talk spoke to a cross-section of residents to find out whether they believed reports about the benefits of chocolate, and whether it has made them want to eat more chocolate.
Mohammad Abu Naaj, 27, a customer service manager from Palestine, said: "I admit I'm one of those who are affected by such medical studies promoting the benefits of chocolates, and you can say I take it as an excuse to eat even more. On a regular day I may eat up to two chocolate bars a day, which perhaps is reflected in my weight but it also depends on my mood."
Rita Perera, 34, said that even though she regularly eats chocolate, she tries to eat proportionate amounts because it is risky to have too much of it.
"There are risks involved in eating too much of it. Chocolate makes one to loose appetite fast and it is bad for the teeth. I have not read anything about chocolate but logically speaking I know that eating too much of it can lead to unhealthy outcomes," said the Sri Lankan sales representative.
Retail Manager Nadia Angelini is addicted to chocolate and trusts scientific reports that says it has its benefits.
"Eating chocolate gives me a natural high, and I love it so much to the point that I'd rather have that instead of having a meal for lunch. I don't think its bad for you, because it makes you feel good," said the 23-year-old from the UK.
Mohammad Houmani, 25, sales officer from Lebanon, explained that he only eats chocolate when he needs the energy during his training sessions in kick-boxing.
Houmani said: "I don't believe any of the reports and only eat it if I need energy before my training. I think that it's a good source of energy."
Sienna Gonzales, 28, a Filipina cabin crew, said: "I love chocolate and heard that dark chocolate is good for health and I believe it too, it just gives me a reason to eat them daily." She added that she doesn't care what the reports say about chocolate because it cannot take away the satisfaction out of eating it.
Fasil M.K., a 34-year-old accountant from India, said: "It enhances the energy level due to having caffeine in it and increases a person's life span. I believe in self-control when it comes to chocolate and I am not influenced by what I read at all.
"If I have any queries regarding a product I simply ask my family doctor about it. I trust the doctor more than the media."
Shaji Kannan, 33, a manager, said that he rarely eats chocolate due to his diabetic condition and tries to control his blood sugar level.
He said: "I once read an article in Gulf News that chocolate is beneficial for one's health and I do believe it is but still keep a limit to eating it. I can share a chocolate bar with a few of my friends as a treat once every two weeks, but not more than that."
Wendy Puerta, from the Philippines, said that she does not believe chocolate has positive benefits, and eats less than she used to compared to a year ago.
The 32-year-old concierge officer said: "I used to have a bar of chocolate every night before I went to bed because it made me feel happy. But after I went to the doctor for a check-up, and he said that I'm suffering from vascular headaches because I have too much caffeine and chocolate."
Ben Thomas, 59, a company director from India, said: "Hearing new studies highlighting the benefits of chocolates can be a good excuse to have some more but we try not to overdo it.
"My family and I love chocolate but we only consume it in moderation. We're selective about which chocolate we buy because there are lots of cheap products on the market which are covered in chocolate but contain no coco."
Mylene D. Cedillo, 29, Filipino office assistant, said: "I'm not really influenced greatly by studies because I love chocolates anyway, but I try to eat it in moderation. "I like eating chocolate because it's a simple way of feeling good and instantly forgetting about some of life's problems."