Is Candy Getting a Bad Rap?

Well, after a summer hiatus I’m back at it. I recently came across an interesting piece entitled, “Candy Love,” published in The Manufacturing Confectioner. What caught my eye was one of the comments on candy and happiness. The article points out that countries with the highest per capita candy consumption rank the highest on the Global Happiness Index. While industry trade people are generally making the case for the benefits of their products, I thought this article had some merit because it was based on some interesting data.

The premise of the article is that candy and chocolate get a bad rap and that it is undeserved. Moreover, it notes that Americans should stop feeling guilty about consuming candy.

Some points in the article I found interesting and I leave to my readers to develop their own informed opinions on:

1)      Candy contributes to obesity – well, maybe not.

Americans do consume a lot of sugar. But, per capita candy consumption in the U.S. is 24.5 pounds. Americans get only about 2% of their calories from candy. So, if we removed all candy from American’s diets, it wouldn’t make a dent in the obesity rate. Also, the rate of candy consumption in the U.S. which has decreased since 1997 is inverse to the increase in obesity.

2)      Candy is bad for children – well, maybe not.

Candy in moderation can be part of a healthy well-balanced diet. We can teach our children about making smart healthy eating choices that include candy. The key point is “part” not the core of a healthy diet. Everything in moderation.

3)      Candy has no purpose – well, maybe not.

Candy and chocolate are part of our culture. In many ways, it is linked to our celebrations like Halloween, Christmas, Chanukah, Valentine’s Day, Easter, weddings, baby showers and more. It is also something that is accessible to almost anyone in our country. It is something all can partake regardless of social status, etc.

These three points don’t even begin to address potential health benefits of chocolate. These are a subject for another post.

Well, clearly as The Happy Chocolatier, I am a bit biased. I love chocolate. My kids love chocolate. But, we view it and consider it a treat not a staple of our diet. A little candy and chocolate as a treat is special and enjoyable, thus providing us some happiness.