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You might want to keep the following story away from your kids: A new study finds that not eating candy may make them fat. So saith the scientists:

For the study, published in Food & Nutrition Research, researchers at Louisiana State University tracked the health of more than 11,000 youngsters between the ages of two and 18 from 1999 to 2004. They found that children who ate sweets were 22 percent less likely to be overweight or obese than kids who shunned sweets. Adolescents? Those who ate candy were 26 percent less likely to be overweight or obese than their non-candy-eating counterparts.

And that wasn’t the only surprising finding. Researchers also found that the blood of candy-eating kids had lower levels of C-reactive protein. That’s a marker of inflammation in the body and a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and other chronic illnesses.

There’s a “but . . . ” after that part but I stopped reading because I didn’t want to ruin it for my inner six-year-old. I wish I had been armed with this study when I was growing up. It would have made the debates with my mother more interesting:

Mom : Put down the candy bar, we’re going to eat supper in an hour. You’ll ruin your appetite.
Me: Exactly. That’s the plan.
Mom: What? What are you talking about? What’s the plan?
Me: By eating this Snickers I will ruin my appetite. By ruining my appetite I will be less hungry during dinner and consume fewer calories. Ergo, by eating candy I will avoid getting fat.
Mom (slapping the candy bar out of my hand): You’re an idiot.

Okay, so that probably wouldn’t have worked out too well. Had my own kid tried it, though, I would have been totally convinced. She would be singing a song of praise, “Dad is great. Gives us the chocolate cake . . . ”

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