THERE YOU HAVE IT – proof that eating more chocolate makes your country more likely to win a Nobel prize. (Sort of.)
Anyone in the scientific community will warn you that correlation doesn’t necessarily equal causation – you can’t say China tops the Olympic medal tables simply because of its population (just ask India) – but a scientific journal in the US has pointed out something worth noting anyway.
The New England Journal of Medicine has researched the countries whose citizens won Nobel prizes up to 2011, and matched them with figures from three chocolate manufacturer associations, to see if Nobel success correlated to chocolate consumption.
The answer: yes, it does. As you can see from the graphic above, countries whose citizens consume more chocolate also happen to be those whose citizens win more Nobel prizes.
The image also shows that Ireland ranks pretty highly on both charts, relative to its population. If they’re working off Wikipedia’s list, you could even argue that Ireland’s achievements have been understated: at least one winner attributed to the UK, Mairead Corrigan, would identify themselves as Irish.
The full paper, for those into that kind of thing, can be found at the NEJM website.
(Another observation: it seems the average Irish person eats about 8.5 kilograms of chocolate per year. That’s one-and-a-third stone!)