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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT AND PREVENTION OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY Title: Candy consumption was not associated with body weight measures, risk factors for cardiovascular disease, or metabolic syndrome in US adults: NHANES 1999-2004

Authors
item O'Neil, Carol -
item Fulgoni, Victor -
item Nicklas, Theresa -

Submitted to: Nutrition Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 7, 2011
Publication Date: January 24, 2011
Citation: O'Neil, C.E., Fulgoni, V.L., Nicklas, T.A. 2011. Candy consumption was not associated with body weight measures, risk factors for cardiovascular disease, or metabolic syndrome in US adults: NHANES 1999-2004. Nutrition Research. 31(2):122-130.

Interpretive Summary: There is limited research examining the relationship of candy consumption by adults on diet and health. The purpose of this study was to determine total, chocolate, or sugar candy consumption and their effect on energy, saturated fatty acid and added sugar intake, weight, risk factors for cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome (MetS), and diet quality in adults 19 years and older. The data showed an increase in energy, added sugar, and saturated fat associated with candy consumption but did not show an increase in weight and adiposity status, blood pressure, cardiovascular risk factors, or risk of MetS. Candy consumers actually had a lower body weight and lower adiposity status than nonconsumers. Total candy consumption was not associated with lower diet quality. Overall, current level of candy consumption was not associated with adverse health effects.

Technical Abstract: There is limited research examining the relationship of candy consumption by adults on diet and health. The purpose of this study was to determine total, chocolate, or sugar candy consumption and their effect on energy, saturated fatty acid and added sugar intake, weight, risk factors for cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome (MetS), and diet quality in adults 19 years and older (n equals 15,023) participating in the 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Twenty-four-hour dietary recalls were used to determine intake. Covariate-adjusted means ± SE and prevalence rates were determined for candy consumption groups. Odds ratios were used to determine the likelihood of cardiovascular risk factors and MetS. A total of 21.8 percent, 12.9 percent, and 10.9 percent of adults consumed total, chocolate, and sugar candy, respectively. Mean daily per capita intake of total, chocolate, and sugar candy was 9.0 +/- 0.3, 5.7 +/- 0.2, and 3.3 +/- 0.2 g, respectively; intake in consumers was 38.3 +/- 1.0, 39.9 +/-1.1, and 28.9 +/- 1.3 g, respectively. Energy (9973 +/- 92 vs 9027 +/- 50 kJ; P less than .0001), saturated fatty acid (27.9 +/- 0.26 vs 26.9 +/- 0.18 g; P equals .0058), and added sugar (25.7 +/- 0.42 vs 21.1 +/- 0.41 g; P less than .0001) intake were higher in candy consumers than nonconsumers. Body mass index (27.7 +/- 0.15 vs 28.2 +/- 0.12 kg/m(2); P equals .0092), waist circumference (92.3 +/- 0.34 vs 96.5 +/- 0.29 cm; P equals .0051), and C-reactive protein (0.40 +/- 0.01 vs 0.43 +/- 0.01 mg/dL; P equals .0487) levels were lower in candy consumers than nonconsumers. Candy consumers had a 14 percent decreased risk of elevated diastolic blood pressure (P equals .0466); chocolate consumers had a 19 percent decreased risk of lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (P equals .0364) and a 15 percent reduced risk of MetS (P equals .0453). Results suggest that the current level of candy consumption was not associated with health risks.

Last Modified: 11/23/2014
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