Chocolate and Developing Diabetes-Research


Margaret Nagle from The University of Maine has posted about research which seems to suggest that eating a bit of chocolate each week can reduce the risk of developing diabetes.

This is a great post for teachers to help high school students analyze research design and results. While the post does not go into a great amount of detail of design and data, there is enough here for a brief introduction or review of research design in order to help students to develop the basics of “thinking” like a researcher.

The Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal is an impressive multi-disciplinary study conducted by researchers from the University of South Australia and the University of Maine of nearly 1,000 subjects followed over a five year period.

Questions for Discussion

  1. What specifically did the research conclude?
  2. What are possible explanations of this conclusion, according to the researchers?
  3. From what different disciplines were the researchers from?
  4. What is a research grant?
  5. Who were the subject groups in this study?
  6. How much chocolate was consumed to achieve this health benefit? Did eating more chocolate make subjects more healthy?
  7. How is this correlational research? What does that actually mean?
  8. Professor Elias suggests that clinical trials are necessary to establish whether only dark chocolate is beneficial? How would you design this research? What would your variables be? What is your hypothesis?
  9. What else does this inspire you to “dream, learn, do?”

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