A HEALTH SWEETENER

Big Candy just committed to making your sugary treats a little smaller

You’re not the only one trying to be mindful of the amount of candy you eat.

Starting in 2022, half of the candy sold by a handful of the globe’s biggest confectionary companies will come only in sizes that contain 200 calories or less per pack in the American market. The commitment was announced this week at a Partnership for a Healthier America event in Washington, DC by the National Confectioners Association (NCA), the US candy lobby.

Together, the participating companies represent about half the American candy market and include Mars Chocolate, Wrigley, Nestlé USA, Ferrero, Lindt, Ghirardelli, Russell Stover, and Ferrara Candy Company.

The move makes sense. Sugary foods have come under fire in recent years, particularly soda, which has become the target of advocacy groups looking to curb sugar consumption as a matter of public health. In 2014, the World Health Organization estimated about 41 million children under 5 years old suffered from weight problems. Across the world, some 13% of adults are obese, with even higher rates in countries such as the US and Mexico.

In some instances, health advocates have gone so far as to suggest sugar is a modern-day tobacco in terms of its negative effects on the overall health system. Indeed, the group Action on Sugar is pushing the UK government to expand its tax on sugary beverages to include chocolates and other sweets. Specifically, it’s looking for a minimum 20% levy on those products. With that in mind, candy companies are eager to avoid any such association.

“Chocolate and candy have always been a treat, and this is a big commitment by the participating companies to keep it that way,” said John Downs, president of the NCA, in a statement.

In addition to manufacturing more candy in small sizes, the companies have also committed to print calorie information on the front of their packaging. Soda companies have also started manufacturing more products in smaller can and bottle sizes. The move has already proven to be a boon for the companies, which have reported healthy sales of those products.

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