Mars Inc. pledges to limit candy bars to 250 calories

Mars Inc., the makers of popular candy brands including Snickers, M&M's and Twix, have said that they would stop making chocolate products that exceed 250 calories by the end of next year. The privately-held company also makes Milky Way, 3Musketeers, Bounty, Skittles candies, Juicy Fruit chewing gum and Kudos bars.

A standard Snickers bar currently has 280 calories. A package of Twix and a bag of peanut M&M's each clock in at 250 calories. The company first posted the goal on its website in September of last year, but the plans got renewed attention after media organizations reported on it this week.

The McClean, Virginia-based company said the goal is part of an ongoing effort to improve the nutritional value of its products and to sell them in a responsible way. Representatives from Mars declined to provide further details Thursday, noting that it has not yet finalized how it will reach its caloric goals. Spokeswoman Marlene Machut said the plan to stop shipping any chocolate product that exceeded 250 calories per portion by the end of 2013 - a target first announced last fall - was part of Mars' “broad-based commitment to health and nutrition.”

In 2007, for example, Mars said it would no longer buy advertising space or time if more than a quarter of the audience was likely to be younger than 12. The company also noted that it has introduced several new products that are less than 200 calories. And by 2015, the company plans to reduce sodium levels in all its food products by 25 percent.

Mars is one of the world's leading food manufacturers. In addition to candy, it makes Uncle Ben's rice and Dove ice cream bars as well as Pedigree and Whiskas brand pet food.

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.

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