Business Strategies / New Food Products / Wellness Foods

Study Finds Candy Consumption Isn't Bad for Your Health


Mar 30, 2011

A recent study¹ published in Nutrition Research found that lovers of confectioneries tend to weigh less, have lower body mass indices and waist circumferences, and have decreased levels of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.

The study examined the association of candy consumption (broken into three categories:  total candy, chocolate or sugar) on total energy intake (calories), nutrient intake, diet quality, weight status, CVD risk factors and metabolic syndrome in more than 15,000 U.S. adults 19 years of age and older based on 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data.

"We certainly don't want these results positioned as eating candy helps you to lose weight," says lead researcher Carol O'Neil, PhD, MPH, LDN, RD, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, who cautions it is all things in moderation. "This study adds to the evidence base that supports candy's role as an occasional treat within a healthy lifestyle."

Results of the study showed that while candy contributed modestly to caloric intake on days it was consumed, there was no association of total candy intake to increased weight/BMI. This is an important finding, as the recently released 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans emphasize the concept that calorie balance over time is the key to weight management.

"Candy is a unique treat that can provide moments of joy and happiness. Consumers should feel confident that candy, consumed in moderation within a diet balanced with regular physical activity, can be part of a healthy, happy lifestyle," said Alison Bodor, senior vice president of public policy and advocacy, National Confectioners Association.

¹ Association of Candy Consumption with Body Weight Measures, Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease, and Diet Quality in U.S. Adults: NHANES 1999-2004. Nutr Res.  2011;31:122-130.