Even the world’s biggest candy company doesn’t think you should be eating this much sugar

Too much of a good thing?
Too much of a good thing?
Image: McDonald's
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Mars Inc., the maker of M&Ms candies, is asking McDonald’s to take it easy with the McFlurry.

The McLean, Virginia-based confectionary company is in talks with McDonald’s about ending the use of M&Ms in the fast-food chain’s already-sugary soft-serve ice cream, Reuters reports. It’s part of an effort to reduce the sugars people consume from Mars products.

In 2015, Mars threw its support behind health guidelines advising people to keep their sugar consumption to 10% or less of their daily caloric intake.

“This commitment…applies to all Mars branded products,” Mars spokesman Jonathan Mudd said in a statement. “We are now working alongside our suppliers and customers to bring this commitment to life.”

According to the nutritional facts posted on the McDonald’s website, a 12-ounce cup of a McFlurry with M&Ms contains 650 calories and 89 grams of sugar. A smaller, “snack-size” portion has 430 calories and 59 grams of sugar.

Among food industry giants, Mars and Nestlé have stood out in recent months as the most vocal supporters of sugar reduction and clear labeling initiatives in the US. Both companies broke rank with the rest of the industry, which lobbies lawmakers through the Grocery Manufacturers Association, when they announced their support in March for a movement to include information about added sugars to the Nutrition Facts panel found on packaging in the US.

Fiona Dawson, the CEO of Mars food division, told Quartz in April that advising consumers to eat certain foods in moderation, or clearly distinguishing between “everyday” and “occasional” foods, will ultimately build trust between brands and customers.

“I think we really need to clean up out act,” she said.