Alas, there is finally scientific research that says it’s all right to have a little candy.
Candy eaters tend to weigh less; have a lower body mass index (BMI) and waist circumferences; and have decreased levels of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome, according to a new study published in Nutrition Research.
“Candy is a unique treat that can provide moments of joy and happiness,” says Alison Bodor, senior vice president of public policy and advocacy for the National Confectioners Association. “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.”
The study showed that while candy contributes modestly to caloric intake when it was consumed, there was no association of total candy intake to increased weight/BMI - suggesting that over time, consumers were able to balance longer-term caloric intake.
It also found that diet quality was not affected by total candy or chocolate candy consumptions when consumed within energy limits; chocolate candy was associated with a 15% reduced risk of metabolic syndrome and candy eaters had a 14% decreased risk of elevated diastolic blood pressure and lower C-reactive protein level than non-candy eaters.
However, lead research Carol O’Neil with the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, cautions that the old adage, “All things in moderation” still reigns.
“We certainly don’t want these results positioned as ‘eating candy help you to lose weight,’” she says. “This study adds to the evidence base that supports candy’s role as an occasional treat within a healthy lifestyle.”
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