A study, funded by the National Confectioners Association and the United States Department of Agriculture was published in the February issue of Nutrition Research. Researchers found that subjects, who reported eating candy, tended to have smaller waistlines, lower BMI and a reduced risk of high blood pressure and metabolic syndrome.
The results don’t suggest that eating candy will result in weight loss, only that the respondents who reported candy consumption ate moderate amounts, about 1.3 ounces a day, and may have been more active to compensate for the extra calories.
Researchers outside the study have been critical of the findings. The study used a 24-hour reporting system, which can be inaccurate if respondents forget or omit some of their consumption.
Katherine Tallmadge, registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association says,
“The 24-hour recall only describes what people think they eat or what they would like to ideally eat.”
“It’s not that candy doesn’t contribute to problems, it’s that people in the study did not eat enough of it to contribute to problems,” Tallmadge added.
Heather Mangieri, of the American Dietetic Association says,
“The thing to remember is, candy alone does not cause weight. Taking in more calories than we expend is really what causes weight gain.”
Tallmadge acknowledges that candy is not the real culprit, causing expanding waistlines. The true culprit is calorie dense junk food with low nutritional value, like pop, chips and baked goods.
Provided treats, of any sort, account for no more than 10 percent of daily caloric intake, candy can be included in a part of a healthy diet. – Jen R, Staff Writer
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