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Food Nutr Res. 2011;55. doi: 10.3402/fnr.v55i0.5794. Epub 2011 Jun 14.

Association of candy consumption with body weight measures, other health risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and diet quality in US children and adolescents: NHANES 1999-2004.

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  • 1Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge, LA, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of total, chocolate, or sugar candy consumption on intakes of total energy, fat, and added sugars; diet quality; weight/adiposity parameters; and risk factors for cardiovascular disease in children 2-13 years of age (n=7,049) and adolescents 14-18 years (n=4,132) participating in the 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

METHODS:

Twenty-four hour dietary recalls were used to determine intake. Diet quality was determined using the Healthy Eating Index-2005 (HEI-2005). Covariate-adjusted means, standard errors, and prevalence rates were determined for each candy consumption group. Odds ratios were used to determine the likelihood of associations with weight status and diet quality.

RESULTS:

In younger children, total, chocolate, and sugar candy consumption was 11.4 g±1.61, 4.8 g±0.35, and 6.6 g±0.46, respectively. In adolescents, total, chocolate, and sugar candy consumption was 13.0 g±0.87, 7.0 g±0.56, and 5.9 g±0.56, respectively. Total candy consumers had higher intakes of total energy (2248.9 kcals±26.8 vs 1993.1 kcals±15.1, p<0.0001) and added sugars (27.7 g±0.44 vs 23.4 g±0.38, p<0.0001) than non-consumers. Mean HEI-2005 score was not different in total candy and sugar candy consumers as compared to non-consumers, but was significantly lower in chocolate candy consumers (46.7±0.8 vs 48.3±0.4, p=0.0337). Weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, percentiles/z-score for weight-for-age and BMI-for-age were lower for candy consumers as compared to non-consumers. Candy consumers were 22 and 26%, respectively, less likely to be overweight and obese than non-candy consumers. Blood pressure, blood lipid levels, and cardiovascular risk factors were not different between total, chocolate, and sugar candy consumers and non-consumers (except that sugar candy consumers had lower C-reactive protein levels than non-consumers).

CONCLUSION:

This study suggests that candy consumption did not adversely affect health risk markers in children and adolescents.

KEYWORDS:

NHANES; added sugars; adolescents; candy; children; chocolate; dietary adequacy; discretionary calories; health risk factors; healthy eating index; nutrient intake; sugar candy

PMID:
21691462
PMCID:
PMC3118036
DOI:
10.3402/fnr.v55i0.5794
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