Chocolate Candy Bars to Diminish

Snickers & Mars
Image via Wikipedia

Have you heard? The king-size Snickers bar, boasting a whopping 540 calories, is on its way out! Fans of the extra-large Snickers and Twix bars should pay attention too – these sugary treats are also to be slimmed down.

In the interest of its “broad-based commitment to health and nutrition”, the candy maker Mars Incorporated has told  consumers of its desire to create chocolate snacks that are limited to 250 calories. In the drive for responsible snacking, their goal is part of an ongoing effort to improve the nutritional value of their products and to sell them in a responsible way. The Virginia-based company wishes to implement this plan by the end of 2013. Not only will the calorie content of the chocolate snack be changed, but also the sodium. Sodium levels in all Mars products will be reduced by 25% by 2015. Already 97% of trans fats have been removed from their products.

The normal-sized candy bars you buy in a convenience store, at a vending machine, or find in the supermarket will be resized.  A normal Snickers bar contains 280 calories. Therefore, in order to reach the 250 limit, the candy bar’s appearance will have to change. It may be shorter – or even slimmer. For those Twix lovers – your favourite chocolate bar will remain the same as it already meets the new criteria, weighing in at 250 calories.

Personally I will not mourn the loss of the ultra large candy bar – even the normal sized sugary treat is more than enough for me! I do hope, though, that the slimmer version of the Snickers bar will lead to less sugary consumption by children, teens and adults. And even if the two bars in the new “2toGo” (two 220 calorie bars in a package that can be resealed to save one for later) are eaten in one sitting, only 440 calories will be consumed (that is a total of 100 calories less compared to the current king-size bar).

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2012

 

Finally, though, the consumer still has to take responsibility for how often they will eat their favourite chocolate treat; and how many they will have in one sitting.

Will your mourn the loss of the king-sized candy bar? Do you feel the slimmer version will help combat the high obesity rates?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2012

34 thoughts on “Chocolate Candy Bars to Diminish

  1. This is interesting that they are taking this action. I don’t know if it will help since people can buy more than one. I really don’t know what to think of this.

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    1. They may be trying to sugarcoat their reputation – one of the things we cut down on when improving our diet is the sugary snack. By cutting down on the calorie content of their products, I believe Mars Inc is trying to show that they are not encouraging the obesity rate. Wether it will make a difference, I am not too sure.

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  2. I rarely eat milk chocolate candy bars preferring a darker chocolate with a much higher cacao content. I find anything less than 80% is pushing way to much sugar. I don’t have a favorite, but I love Green & Black and Lindt.

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    1. I am right there with you. If I am going to eat chocolate it may as well be the better quality. My husband and I have agreed to buy Lindt for the children less frequently than to buy them the cheaper and sweeter candy bars

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      1. There is a time for milk chocolate….Halloween, Easter, but these are exceptions. One dark bittersweet square of Lindt is much more satisfying than those massive candy bars. A general rule of thumb….anything found at the check-outs of supermarkets it’s usually low quality…and this definitely includes the magazines!

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  3. They should be bar-red from doing this! They had better not try trying to pull the stunt of charging the same for the reduced items.
    Anyway, if they think that a few feeble wrappers are going to stand in the way of me having a nice gorge when I feel like it, they’d better think again.

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    1. But this would go against their new commitment to Michelle Obama’s desire for a less obese America. Mars Inc is one of 16 companies to sign a pledge to eliminate 1.5 trillion calories by 2015 at the behest of America’s First Lady.

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      1. They should have been more careful about the buzzwords they used!

        Hmm… I wonder if I could interest First Lady in my fantasy just out which happens to deal in part with two overweight kids becoming (despite themselves) far less overweight?

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  4. I definitely think this is a step in the right direction. Although, as you mentioned, it is still up to the consumer to eat responsibly. I would like to see other candy/junk food companies follow suit.

    My children do not eat candy often. In fact, every year when a holiday rolls around that is indicative of enormous quantities of candy (such as Easter and Halloween, for example), I have to dump out their old stashes of candy from the previous holiday(s). Of course, my children are still young and their consumption is closely monitored by me…but my daughters have never consumed an entire full-size (much less king-size) candy bar alone. Before my weight loss/health journey began, I would buy a candy bar in the grocery check-out lane for the three of us to share.

    Part of me (probably the very cynical part, no less) thinks people will just begin purchasing more than one bar if they are smaller. I doubt the “average” person will scale down consumption just because the manufacturer scaled down the product. Hopefully I am wrong, though.

    -Erica

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    1. I tend to share your cynicism with regards to decreased consumption of candy bars. The best would be to cease manufacturing them!
      At the ages of 10 and 11, my children also do not eat a lot of candy. The bowls of candy from Halloween gather dust in their room – and they are not even tempted to eat from them. Bring out a Lindt chocolate bar, though, and they are waiting in line for a piece 🙂

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      1. I am not sure that my children would not be tempted to eat the candy if I left it out (in their reach)…especially in their rooms. They do not ask for it all that often, though, because they eat enough naturally sweet things (IE fruit). It probably helps that they do not see me eating those things, so they know it isn’t something they *must* have to survive.

        I agree with you completely, Colline. I would *love* to see them stop producing any food (candy or otherwise) that is not nutritionally sound/dense. That would certainly help the obesity epidemic we face as a country. In that same vein, I would *love, love, LOVE* to see some sort of regulation on the amount of fast food restaurants allowed within a certain geographical area. I could walk to over a dozen fast food restaurants from my house…and drive (within a reasonable amount of time) to over four dozen. That is *way* too many unhealthy eateries…if you ask me. 🙂

        -Erica

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  5. I will not mourn the loss of any of those candy bars because we have been trying to eat an all natural diet in my home and it is near impossible! Candy bars and items like these make me angry at the world and our overuse of dyes and preservatives in our food. Thanks for the post, definitely hits home to me since we have made this food change.

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    1. Yes, it is very different to change your diet when these items are so readily available. Bravo to you for going against the grain and making the decision to eat healthier.

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  6. They want to make more money. Slim down the size, keep the prices up… Disguised as concern for the citizen. I don’t think so!

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  7. It WILL help me not to buy the big one, though I too have been trying to stay away from chocolate as much as possible (sugar and white flours as well). But, ohhhh, I do love chocolate. To make it a “law” does not seem right. Indeed people can grab more!

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  8. Oh Colline what have you done? I now have to put my shoes on, coat on and pop over to the local petrol station to buy in a supply of choccy bars….so when I put on a couple of extra pounds…I will blame you. I’m sorry but there it is!!!

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  9. Im so glad that they are reducing the size, removed much of the transfats and lowering the sodium! I love Snickers, it is my favorite. Always chose the smaller size due to calorie content. I’m glad that companies are taking the initiative to reduce bar size and consider the consequences to teens and children, who may think that eating large sizes is the norm with all foods! It is easy to get into an unrecognized overeating habit – I know from experience! As a child, overeating was a rare issue that has now become a national obsession. Its time to teach our youngsters good eating patterns and to choose reasonable snack sizes vs mega sizes.

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