Candy is something parents aren’t supposed to be freely dishing out to their kids, right? Surprising new research suggests otherwise. A little candy here and there might be a good thing. Bring on the M&Ms!
Could candy actually be a healthy snack for kids?
Kids who munch on Skittles and Snickers weigh less than those kids who don’t eat candy, a new study finds.
Researchers at Louisiana State University collected data from more than 11,000 kids, age 2 to 18, between 1999 and 2004. They discovered that children who indulged in candy were 22 percent less likely to be overweight or obese than their counterparts who didn’t eat sweets. What about the teenagers? Those who ate goodies were “26 percent less likely to be overweight or obese than their non-candy-eating counterparts,” according to CBS News.
The study published in Food & Nutrition reported on another interesting finding: The blood of the candy-eating kids was found to have a lower level of the C-reaction protein (CRP), an indicator of inflammation in the body and a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
The study results don’t give kids a hall pass to eat Twizzlers for breakfast.”Children need to eat healthy foods, nutrient-dense foods. They need to have fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy,” O’Neil told the Vancouver Sun. “And foods like candy should be occasional foods, celebratory foods and eaten in moderation.”
The study didn’t look at why kids who eat candy weighed less and so it leaves us with a lot of unanswered questions. “Are overweight kids simply barred from eating candy by parents who want them to diet? Does a little candy every now and then keep kids from binging? Could there be some compound in candy that’s actually good for the heart? Given that the researchers seem to have lumped all candy together, it’s hard to say what that compound would be — my money’s on that stuff inside Pixie Stix,” writes Anna North over at Jezebel.