Once in a while, a study comes around that just has to make health professionals a little squeamish. You know the kind – the ones that seem to not only contradict common sense, but also ends up as fuel for unhealthy people to justify bad eating habits.
This time around, a study is giving people who love their sweets a sweet surprise. Apparently candy and chocolate eaters tend to beat out those who don’t in the categories of waistline, weight, and body mass index (BMI).
But wait, there’s more.
Those in the study who ate candy and chocolate had a 14 percent lower risk of elevated blood pressure and a 15 percent decreased risk of metabolic syndrome (risk factors for heart disease and stroke).
As is the case in most studies with seemingly shocking findings, this isn’t an endorsement for gorging on candy, and certainly not evidence that it’s healthy (even though chocolate has been found to be good in moderation). You won’t lose weight if you eat sweets.
Researcher Carol O’Neil of Louisiana State University Agricultural Center says the results suggest that when eaten in moderation, sweets are not associated with being overweight or the related diseases.
“The thing to remember is, candy alone does not cause weight,” said Heather Mangieri of the American Dietetic Association. “Taking in more calories than we expend is really what causes weight gain.”
What the study may ultimately say is that the obesity problem we are facing is not so much about eating candy as it is about where we are getting the bulk of our calories – our main meals.