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Candy lite.

The Milky Way bar just went on a diet. It now has 190 Calories. That's 90 fewer than a regular Milky Way (but still 110 more than an apple has). The new bar, called the Milky Way II, "is a reduced-Calorie snack you'll actually want to eat," says M&M/Mars spokesperson Marlene Machut

Really? We asked some kids who have tasted the "II." "The chocolate tastes phony," says 15-year-old Tiffany Wallace of Vallejo, California.

But 18-year-old Lisa Basani of New York City gives the new snack a "thumbs up." "I like it even better than the original," she says.

Nutritionists give the "II" mixed reviews. It does offer an alternative, they say, for teens who refuse to kick the chocolate habit but still want to cut Calories.

Calories, you may know, are a measure of the energy in food. You need a certain amount (about 2,000 each day) to stay warm, move, grow, and so on. But if you take in more than you burn, or metabolize, you'll store the excess as fat.

Still, there's more to a healthy diet than counting Calories. Among other nutrients, your body also needs vitamins and minerals. And the "II," says nutritionist Gail Levey, can't help you there. Its Calories are "empty" - lacking in these nutrients.

It's okay to indulge now and then, says Levey, as long as you also eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain breads. "There's no such thing as junk food," she says, "just junk diets."


You might think it's weird to measure the energy of a star in Calories, as if it were something to eat. But our Sun is a star, and in a way, we eat a piece of it every day. Every time you bite into a hamburger, for instance, you are taking in chemical energy that a cow got by eating plant - which get their energy by storing the Sun's radiant energy in the chemical bonds of the sugars they make. It's all still energy; it's simply being changed from one form to another. So it makes sense to us to use the same units to measure each kind.

But Calories are actually going out of style. Soon everyone will be using a unit called joules to measure all forms of energy. Prepare to greet the future, SW readers! Below are some facts to help you understand how one kind of unit is related to the next. Don't worry about the numbers, you can always look them up. Just got the idea that they all measure energy.

* A food Calorie is also called a kilocalorie. Sometimes scientists use a smaller unit called a calorie (lowercase "c") to measure smaller amounts of energy.

* 1 Calorie (kilocalorie) = 1,000 calories

* 1 Calorie (kcal) = 4,190 joules

* 1 calorie = 4.19 joules
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Title Annotation:low-calorie candy bar
Author:Mead, Thomas
Publication:Science World
Date:Dec 4, 1992
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