Why Are Kids Who Eat Candy Less Likely to be Obese?

Health & Wellness on 06.29.11


Letting your kids raid the candy drawer on a regular basis might not be as bad for their health as you think, reports CBS, since a new study found that kids who regularly ate chocolate, candy, and other sweets had less of a chance of becoming obese than children who didn't.

From CBS:


Researchers at Louisiana State University tracked the health of more than 11,000 youngsters between the ages of two and 18 from 1999 to 2004. They found that children who ate sweets were 22 percent less likely to be overweight or obese than kids who shunned sweets. Adolescents? Those who ate candy were 26 percent less likely to be overweight or obese than their non-candy-eating counterparts.


The kids who ate candy also checked in with lower levels of C-reactive protein, which rises with inflammation and has been associated with a higher risk of heart disease.

Jezebel points out that the relationship between eating candy and resisting obesity isn't clear -- "Are overweight kids simply barred from eating candy by parents who want them to diet?" asks Anna North. "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?" 

But the study's authors are quick to point out that this doesn't mean it's okay to swap your child's mid-afternoon apple for a candy bar. "The results of this study should not be construed as a hall-pass to overindulge," writes lead researcher Dr. Carol O'Neil. "Candy should not replace nutrient-dense foods in the diet; it is a special treat and should be enjoyed in moderation."

Photo: terren in Virginia/Creative Commons

Top Articles on Healthy Eating
Teaching My Kids Healthy Eating Habits (Even Though Mine Always Sucked) 
Cheetos vs. Carrots: (Not) Fighting to Feed Kids Healthy Food 
10 Guidelines for Raising a Healthy, Happy Eater