Wednesday, June 3, 2015


Hello readers.  I’m Beatrice Bell or Bea as my friends call me.  I don’t have to tell those of you who follow our Grandmothers, Incorporated adventure series that my friends and I are detectives.  I ran across something a few weeks ago that couldn’t help but challenge me to sniff out the truth.

Like many people, I wouldn’t mind losing a few pounds.  So, when I first heard that chocolate might be good for weight loss, my ears perked up.  The story was all over the news and the internet.  Happy day!  I didn’t waste my time or taste buds on cheap chocolate.  For a week I ate the good, expensive stuff.  My reasoning was that the quality of the chocolate would probably speed up my weight loss.

My detective sense started to tingle when a little known heredity gene kicked in.  My grandmother called it ‘mother wit’; you may know it as common sense.  Eat chocolate every day and lose weight faster?  Really?  There was another clue that made me suspicious.  When I put on my favorite pair of jeans I couldn’t zip them up!  I knew it was time to investigate this eat chocolate and lose    weight claim because something wasn’t right.

I was reading the Wall Street Journal (yes, I do that every once in a while) and I ran across a story about a science journalist named John Bohannan.  It seems this Bohannan, was a sort of watch dog of other scientist.  With the help of fellow colleagues he rigged a “scientific” study, wrote a paper about chocolate being a weight-loss accelerator and sent it to science journals for publication to see if anybody would challenge the study.

The next thing you know, nearly every media outlet you can name was reporting the story without checking the facts.  According to the article I read, most reporters didn’t challenge a single word of the study.  They didn’t even Google the “German Science Institute” that supposedly did the study.  If they had they would have found that it was phony.  It doesn’t exist!

I’ve managed to lose the five pounds I gained during my week-long chocolate diet.  Like I always say:  if it sounds too good to be true...” 

Thanks Wall Street Journal for pointing out the hoax, but being the crack investigator that I am, I already had it figured out.