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Why you should think twice about giving your nurse chocolate as a gift.

Seriously, Science?By Seriously ScienceJanuary 6, 2015 5:00 PM


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Flickr/Alex "The Havoc" FernandIt's true that chocolate is (usually) delicious, and it often makes a welcome gift. But this researcher wondered whether nurses actually get too much chocolate from their many thankful patients. To find out, he surveyed over 100 nursing staff at a hospital in the UK. The result? Patients and their families give so much chocolate to nurses that each nurse eats, on average, almost six(!) chocolates every day, mostly just because the chocolates are sitting there. Which isn't really healthy. And guess what else? Many nurses would be equally happy with a healthier option. So if you want to stand out from the crowd and give your favorite nurse a thoughtful gift, maybe try some fruit or tea. You might just get a thank you in return... from the nurse's bathroom scale!

The effects of chocolates given by patients on the well-being of nurses and their support staff.

"Chocolate has a number of extremely appealing sensory qualities, and often are given by patients to those working in hospital wards as a token of their gratitude. This study examines whether this has any harmful effects. Eighty nine qualified nurses, 21 ward assistants, and 18 nursing students completed a structured questionnaire, showing that on average 5.4 chocolates were eaten each day. About 2/3 of the recipients ate 1-5 chocolates a day, while a few (3%) ate more than 20 per day. The most common reason given for eating them was simply because they were there. However, a quarter felt that a healthier alternative would be an adequate alternative gift. Around a third of those surveyed felt that the chocolates had a detrimental effect on their well-being. It is unlikely that chocolates will ever be scarce on hospital wards because there is a never-ending supply from grateful patients. Consequently, it will be difficult to restructure the chocolate-eating habits of those working on hospital wards." Related content: NCBI ROFL: Study proves chocolate bars different from bones. NCBI ROFL: Emotional and uncontrolled eating styles and chocolate chip cookie consumption. NCBI ROFL: Craving chocolate? Try pottery instead.

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