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Little Pleasures Support Healthy Eating Behaviors

Fear of foregoing favorite foods can be a stumbling block to better eating. According to the American Dietetic Association survey, Nutrition and You: Trends 2008, more than 70 percent of adults don't do more to achieve a balanced diet because they don't want to give up their favorite foods (73 percent). Over half of the consumers surveyed (54 percent), believe that there are some foods they should never eat.

Consumer and scientific research suggests that forbidding certain foods or putting restrictions on eating may actually be counterproductive to developing and maintaining healthy eating behaviors. Food restriction may even trigger unintended negative consequences, such as preoccupation with food and eating and the tendency to overeat or eat when not hungry. Studies have shown that dieting and restrained eating are often associated with overeating and poor body weight control.

Overly restrictive eating practices may elevate the desire for and intake of restricted foods while diminishing self-control in eating, which is especially evident in children. Given these potential negative effects on behavior, it is increasingly important to provide consumers with information that allows them to make better food choices and realistically allows them to include the foods they love as part of a balanced diet and active lifestyle.

NCA's study examining the association between candy consumption and several weight-related health parameters in children and adults confirms the prudence of a moderation, rather than restrictive, approach. The study finds that candy consumers are not more likely to have chronic negative health outcomes, such as being overweight or obese, suggesting that many consumers are able to fit their favorite confections into an overall healthy lifestyle.

Treat yourself to one of life's little pleasures and enjoy 50-100 calories of candy per day day.