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Proposing a Definition of Candy in Moderation: For Health and Well-being

Hornick, Betsy MS, RD; Duyff, Roberta L. MS, RD, FADA, CFCS; Murphy, Mary M. MS, RD; Shumow, Laura MS

doi: 10.1097/NT.0000000000000020
Food and Nutrition

Advice to practice “moderation” in eating conveys that reasonable amounts of specific foods or beverages can fit into healthful meal patterns. However, interpretation of moderation varies widely between both health professionals and consumers. Evidence suggests that candy can have a place in an overall lifestyle that supports health, wellness, and happiness. Recognizing the importance of managing calories, a proposed definition for consuming candy in moderation offers realistic and practical advice for individuals wishing to include confections within the context of a healthful diet and lifestyle. Quantifying candy in moderation is proposed as a range of up to 50 to 100 calories per day depending on energy needs. This amount falls within dietary guidance from leading health authorities for calories from added sugars and fats. The purpose of this article was to summarize current intakes of candy, examine the potential role of candy in health and well-being, and provide support for a proposed definition of “candy in moderation” for those who choose to consume confections, including chocolates, hard and chewy candy, and chewing gum.

The authors take on a diffi cult task–determining what candy in moderation is

Betsy Hornick, MS, RD, is a nutrition writer and consultant, specializing in food, nutrition, and health communications.

Roberta L. Duyff, MS, RD, FADA, CFCS, is a food and nutrition consultant, speaker, and author, focusing on the “power of positive nutrition” and providing practical, science-based healthy eating guidance.

Mary M. Murphy, MS, RD, is a consultant on nutrition issues including examination of food consumption patterns and associations between food and nutrient intakes and measures of health. She is Senior Managing Scientist at Exponent, Inc, Center for Chemical Regulation & Food Safety.

Laura Shumow, MS, is director of Technical and Regulatory Affairs at the National Confectioners Association in Washington, DC.

Source of support: National Confectioners Association.

Ms Hornick has declared that she is a member of FoodMinds’ expert network. FoodMinds is a food and nutrition affairs company that represents a range of food, nutrition, and wellness organization, including the National Confectioners Association.

Ms Duyff received an honorarium for her contributions to this manuscript.

Ms Murphy has declared that Exponent, Inc. was retained by the National Confectioners Association to conduct research on candy consumption patterns and contribute to this manuscript.

Correspondence: Betsy Hornick, MS, RD, 3016 Fairchild Street, Poplar Grove, IL 61065 (

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