Take Your Candy!

Vitamins_and_Mineral_Pills_Royalty_Free_Clipart_Picture_091231-191192-070009Have you noticed the number of supplements, vitamins, and over-the- counter meds that are marketed as and flavored like candy? I was at the pharmacy the other day. I was looking for a particular brand of calcium. First I noticed the chocolate-flavored chews made with extra calcium. Then my attention was drawn to the other stomach “aids” only to find gummies and fruit chews. Further down the aisle I found an entire shelf of vitamins in the form of candy.

When I was little, the only ‘good’ flavored medicine was St. Joseph’s Baby Aspirin.(As a matter of fact my brother chewed the better part of a bottle because it tasted good.) Most other medicines tasted like, well, medicine. My kids had ear infections and both went through an exhaustive list of liquid antibiotics. Although flavored, there was no confusing them with candy. We had plenty of ‘pushback’ about not taking medicine so we usually gave the girls a treat, like fruit snacks or a cookie, to make the taste go away. I don’t mind admitting that, as a mother, I relied on bribery from time to time.

I guess I am left wondering what the fallout from these candy-flavored products will be. Obviously Americans do not need any more processed sugar. But the pendulum has swung so far in the direction of pleasure and ease that it seems even our medicine must be tasty. Furthermore, I wonder how effective these supplements can be when they are enhanced with flavorings and sweeteners? I mean can fiber really be effective if wrapped in a gummy?

candyI have had a sugar problem for years. I love it! Recently, I’ve decided (with a little push from my doc) to give up all white sugar.  I don’t even have artificial sweeteners like aspartame, because research has shown that the chemicals in aspartame often increase the brain’s craving for more sugar. I have had to adapt to the taste of Stevia. I can’t say I enjoy it quite as much, but I can make it work. I don’t know what changes are going on inside my body, but I no longer need the caffeine jolt in the afternoon or feel my energy spike and then plummet after a sugary treat.

I would love to tell you that the urge for all sweets has already diminished, but I would be lying. I see the advertisement for that new Hershey’s Chocolate Spread and think about eating it from the jar with a spoon.  Food commercials often make me wax poetic about Fiber One Brownies or flavored coffee creamers. I am, however, an adult (I keep telling myself this) and I know that this change is for the good long-term. I will allow myself some wonderful sweet morsel at sometime in the future, but I can tell you two things:

1) It won’t be until I am confident that I can just have a small portion, and

2) It won’t be in the form of a calcium or fiber supplement!


Until Next Time!