By: Peggy Willms
(3 min read)
This isn’t the first time I have written about silly national observances. I wrote a blog about Epitaph, Unicorn, and Zipper Days. https://allthingswellness.com/mind/epitaph-unicorn-day/. And
Donut Day used to be one of my favorites, but I have moved on from that treat.
Today I hit you up with Candy Month, and it is right around the corner. It’s not just a day, but the WHOLE month of June. This one has a marketing spin – well, I guess they all do.
With the drop in holiday sales due to New Year’s Resolutions to become healthier and lose weight, the National Confectioners Association jumped in with an attempt to increase sales.
National Candy Month was first observed in January 1974, but gradually the observed holiday moved to the summer.
And get this…candy is now a $13 billion industry.
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like some type of candy, whether it is chocolate, gummy bears, or sour drops. Many events bring up a special memory or an attachment to candy. S’mores = camping. Peanut M&Ms or Milk duds = movies. State Fair = candy apples or cotton candy. Easter and Halloween = EVERYTHING.
Being in the health and wellness industry for decades, I have seen how the statistics for overweight and obesity have climbed. Candy (sugar) is one of the culprits. With increased marketing, accessibility, and lack of exercise due to more sedentary lifestyles and professions, we are consuming more and more candy. Yes, moderation is the key, but it is not easy for most people. As I say, “Bring it into the house – and it goes right into your mouth!”
We need glucose to keep our energy flowing. Natural sugars like fruit have made everyone happy for centuries, but we have evolved to love candy over time. Caveman Kenny didn’t have Skittles in the pocket of his furry miniskirt. Eve didn’t bite into a Mars bar. Sugars give an instant fix or high, and our dopamine reward system is instantly happy and craving more. A banana just doesn’t have the same zip as a bag of Twizzlers.
One of the rules I live by is to be a Food Snob. What do I mean? When you think of “unhealthy” treats, whether sweets or fried food, moderation can be a by-product of being picky or a “snob.” Don’t eat it if you don’t LOVE it. If you like carrot cake, as I do, narrow down what baker is your favorite and even what ingredients taste the best. Don’t settle for apple pie if you are mezza mezza about it. Do you like milk chocolate or dark chocolate? Plain or Peanut M&Ms. Only eat what tickles your fancy. Trust me, you will eventually get excited and plan those treats you love.
Here is a fun history lesson for those who love sugary treats. I was surprised by how far back some of our favorite candies go.
- Hershey: 1880
- Babe Ruth: 1921
- Peanut M&Ms: 1941
- Pixy Stix, Pez, Peeps: 1950s
- SweetTARTS: 1962
- Cadbury Crème Egg: 1963
- Fun Dips, Jelly Belly’s, Blowpops, Starburst, Ring Pops, Skittles: 1970s (clearly the non-chocolate decade winner)
- Nerds: 1980s
- Warheads: 1990s
The 2000s started all the specialties – more flavors were created just as if you ordered a Starbucks. Hundreds of flavored Jelly Beans, Dulce de Leche Caramel M&Ms, Hershey’s Special Dark…you get the point.
What am I most curious about? What are your favorites, and what holidays or events do you associate them with, or when do you consume them?