British doctors have made a tongue-in-cheek complaint to a chocolate
manufacturer after the firm changed the shape of two sweets that could
be used to measure testicles in pubescent boys.
The problem focusses on wrapped chocolates called Teasers and
Truffles, whose 8mm oval shape was a dead ringer for a bead used in an
orchidometer - a gadget that measures testes to ensure they are
But Teasers' and Truffles' unusual contribution to public health is
now doomed after their manufacturer, Masterfoods UK, changed the shape
of the chocs, leaving them bigger and flat-bottomed.
Doctors want old design back
"This is a major setback to paediatric endocrinology," say Gareth
Williams of the medical faculty at Bristol University and Poonam
Dharmaraj, a paediatrician at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle.
"Clearly, the original design should be reinstated."
"With skilful marketing, this could play to the manufacturer's
advantage: by including a simple package insert with clear,
easy-to-feel instructions, young males could self-evaluate their
pubertal status (while pointing out that this should ideally not be
done at the point of sale)."
It would provide "a rare opportunity for the chocolate industry to
become palpably involved in public-health promotion," suggest the pair.
Their letter appears in the end-of-the-year issue of the British
Medical Journal, a traditional moment for publishing humorous
items in the medical profession.
Other articles include a spoof study into the genetic link with
magic, as based on characters in the Harry Potter series, and an
exhaustive investigation into the fracturability of two honeycombed
chocolate bars that doctors often use to explain bone health to