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Eating candy and sweets regularly DOESN'T make you more likely to be fat (or why you should be careful about which surveys you believe)

May 25 Written by  Staff Writer
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Candy in US candy store

A headline blasted out from the Mail Online (by far the world's biggest news website) screams 'Tuck in! Eating sweets (candy) regularly DOESN'T make you more likely to be fat or develop heart disease.'

 

Even by the standards of the Daily Mail this is over-spun, twaddle.

It is also a potentially dangerous claim as you really don't have to be a nutrition specialist (or indeed a dentist) to understand that refined sugars are not one of nature's gifts to the health conscious.

And we really wouldn't recommend any aspiring female bodybuilder or fitness trainer swap their egg whites for Hershey bars any time soon.

And here's the clue.

The so-called 'study' was commissioned by the US The National Confectioners Association.

And this pressure group for candy manufacturers across the United States concluded, according to the Mail Online, that 'those who enjoyed sweet treats every other day were not at higher risk of disease.'

Well, duh. The candy makers said that did they?!

The findings are slightly qualified further down the article with a line saying ' experts say findings are not a carte blanche to binge on chocolates and that eating sweets in moderation remains key to good health.'

But the actual results are just impossible to believe.

Dietitian Mary Murphy, of the Centre for Chemical Regulation & Food Safety, Washington DC, said: 'We did not find an association between frequency of candy intake and BMI (body mass index) or cardiovascular risk factors among adults.'

But the researchers say the findings are not carte blanche to eat as many sweets as you want, saying moderation was still important.

Ms Murphy said the findings, published in the Nutrition Journal, were important at a time when the spotlight was focused on obesity more than ever.

Almost all participants (96 per cent) reported eating sweets - chocolate and other types - but the frequency and quantity consumed at any given time varied.

Previous research has shown sweet consumers are not more likely to be overweight or have greater risk factors for chronic disease.

But the new study surprisingly found even those who reported eating the most were not more likely to be at risk of weight gain or disease.

Frequency of consumption was not associated with the risk of obesity, using measures such as BMI, waist circumference and skinfold thickness.

There was also no connection with markers of cardiovascular disease risk including blood pressure, good and bad and cholesterol, other dangerous fats and insulin resistance.

The analyses were based on food frequency questionnaires and data from the 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) involving adults aged 19 and older.

The researchers said the results certainly do not provide evidence sweets can be consumed without limits, but suggest most people treat themselves without increasing their risk of obesity or heart disease.

They added that more research is needed to further understand the role sweets and chocolate play in life and the best tips for people to include their favourite treats as a part of a happy and healthy lifestyle.

According to the US National Cancer Institute’s analysis of NHANES 05-06 data, sweets contributed an estimated 44 calories per day, or only about 2 per cent of the total caloric intake of an average adult.
In addition, it accounted for slightly more than one teaspoon of added sugars, of about 5g, in the diets of adults on a daily basis, which corresponds to a fraction of the 100 to 150 calorie upper limit of added sugars recommended by the American Heart Association.

By comparison, the top three dietary sources of added sugars for adults - sugary drinks, grain-based desserts, and sweetened fruit drinks - account for approximately 60% of the total added sugars intake.

Furthermore, data from the National Cancer Institute’s analysis of NHANES 05-06 indicate sweets accounted for only 3.1 per cent of the total saturated fat intake by the US population aged 2 years, or slightly less than 1g based on a total saturated fat intake of 27.8 g/day.

Laura Shumow, director of scientific and regulatory affairs at the National Confectioners Association in the U.S., said: 'There is a place for little pleasures, such as candy, in life.
'A little treat in moderation can have a positive impact on mood and satisfaction, and as emerging research suggests, minimal impact on diet and health risk.'

Read full article here

Published in Diet & Nutrition
Last modified on Saturday, 25 May 2013 12:47 Read 1442 times
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