02/04/2011 08:03 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Surprise, Surprise: Sweet Eaters Are Slimmer

sweets-candy-slimming Sweets don't make you fat. Photo: Getty

Well who'd have thought it? If you eat sweets and chocolates it doesn't necessarily mean you'll be fatter than those without a sugar habit, say US researchers. On the contrary, you may even be slimmer.

No, it's not a late April Fool's joke. The findings can be found in a study published in the journal Nutrition Research, which looks at how eating candy - as they like to call it in the States - impacts on body weight and the risk of developing metabolic syndrome (a collection of symptoms that increases your risk for heart disease and stroke).

People who eat candy and chocolate have a 14 lower risk of metabolic syndrome, the study - which involved 15,000 people - claims. Not just that, but indulging your sweet tooth could mean your waist is smaller and your weight is lower than non-sweet eaters, plus you may also have a lower body mass index (BMI).

But before you rush off to the nearest confectionery shop, the researchers warn eating candy, as such, doesn't help you lose pounds. They suggest the results of their study might mean candy eaters are simply more conscientious about what they're eating, and that they exercise more to make up for the extra calories. Also note that the average amount of candy eaten by the study's participants wasn't a huge amount at just over 35g per day.

The real culprits where obesity is concerned, the researchers conclude, aren't sweets but foods such as chips, cakes, non-diet fizzy drinks and large portion sizes.

What's your favourite sweet treat?

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