Speed Reads

hold the sugar

Major confectioners band together to whittle down calories, sugars in packaged sweets

A group of major candy companies announced Thursday that they will be working together over the next five years to slash the amount of sugar and calories in packaged sweets. Mars Chocolate, Nestle USA, Lindt, Ghirardelli, and Wrigley — the companies behind everything from M&Ms and Skittles to Butterfingers and Snickers — are reportedly among the candymakers on board.

The goal is to ensure that "half of their individually wrapped products sold in the United States contain no more than 200 calories within the next five years," Reuters reported. Calorie cuts could come from issuing smaller packages or tinkering with recipes.

The group also plans to clearly label candies with calorie counts and to help educate the public on how to fit treats into a healthy lifestyle. "This is the right thing for the business," said Tracey Massey, president of Mars Chocolate North America. "We don't want to grow at any cost." She added, "Better to do the right thing than be regulated."

The move follows a crackdown last year by the FDA on how packaged foods are labeled.