Christmas is a time for family, friends, and, of course, sweet treats! The problem is when the best pieces disappear too fast and no one knows who ate them. Thankfully, scientists are worried about chocolate disappearing too. Let’s see what they found out using the scientific method.

In a 2013 study, Parag R. Gajendragadkar and colleagues set out to explore who was to blame for the disappearing of chocolate. In clinical settings, boxes of chocolates are a common sight, often donated by patients and family members. These chocolates tend to disappear swiftly and it is not always clear who ate them. The team decided to put out various types of chocolates (258 pieces in total) in three hospital locations to be kept under continuous covert surveillance to chart their paths from box to belly.

The results are in

Once the data had been analysed, some trends became apparent.

The average time it took to open a box of chocolates from first appearance was 12 minutes.
Chocolate consumption was non-linear with a rapid rate of consumption after a box was opened that slowed down as there were fewer pieces left.
The average time it took to finish a whole box of chocolates was 51 minutes.
The highest percentages of chocolates were consumed by healthcare assistants (28 %) and nurses (28 %), followed by doctors (15 %).

The authors concluded: “Overall, hospital chocolate consumers preferred Cadbury chocolates compared with Nestlé chocolates. Taken as a group, healthcare assistants and nurses were the largest consumers of chocolate, however they make up a greater percentage of staff than, for instance, doctors or consultants. More analysis is needed.”

How to stop the chocolate from disappearing?

Now that we know who ate the chocolate and how quickly, it’s time to take some precautionary measures because you simply can’t open a new box of chocolate every 51 minutes! There are a few tactics that should help the longevity of your chocolate.

Make sure no one is hungry! Give your guests a good breakfast, lunch, and dinner filled with protein and fibre.
Mix in pieces of dark chocolate. Dark chocolate has less sugar and a higher cocoa content which makes it healthier and also more bitter which will keep it safe!
Put out other snacks like fruit to divert at least the health-conscious guests.

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