As of 2015, experts estimate that approximately 1 billion people eat chocolate every day. On average, each American consumes 12 pounds of chocolate per year, while Europeans eat 15 pounds a year.
Researchers think people love chocolate because its ingredients can impact brain chemistry. For example, chocolate contains anandamide, a chemical also found in the brain that makes people feel good. Eating chocolate also releases dopamine, another feel-good chemical, which stimulates the brain’s pleasure centers, so people want to eat more and more. Chocolate can also curb appetites and used to be a cure-all for doctors who carried it in their black bags for house calls. However, too much chocolate can cause headaches.