Summary of “Dark chocolate is now a health food. Here’s how that happened.”

So how in the world could a chocolate bar be convincingly sold as a health food? You can thank a decades-long effort by the chocolate industry.
Big Chocolate’s investment in health science was a marketing masterstroke, catapulting dark chocolate into the superfood realm along with red wine, blueberries, and avocados – and helping to sell more candy.
How Mars helped turn chocolate into a heart healthy snack In 1982, Mars Inc. – the company that has brought us M&M’s, Snickers, and Twix – established the Mars Center for Cocoa Health Science in Brazil to study, in part, the biology of cocoa and its impact on human health.
To find out what kind of conclusions Mars-sponsored studies come to, Vox searched the health literature and identified 100 original cocoa health studies funded or supported by the chocolate maker over the past two decades.
Among the findings in the Mars-sponsored health studies: Regularly eating cocoa flavanols could boost mood and cognitive performance, dark chocolate improves blood flow, cocoa might be useful for treating immune disorders, and both cocoa powder and dark chocolate can have a “Favorable effect” on cardiovascular disease risk.
“Premium chocolate,” like the vegan dark chocolate avocado bar, is helping drive growth in the chocolate market, Euromonitor found in an analysis of the US chocolate industry.
Industry funding can warp our perceptions of chocolate When you look at industry-funded studies, one thing becomes clear: They tend to focus on the health attributes of cocoa: its impact on cardiovascular health or cognitive function.
“The idea that dark chocolate is healthy has worked its way into the mainstream psyche,” said NYU food historian Amy Bentley, adding that even the very restrictive Paleo dieters sanction dark chocolate because of its “Numerous health benefits.”

The orginal article.