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Saturday Sweets: Why Swedes only eat sweets on Saturdays

In Sweden, Saturday is for sweets.

The Swedish custom of lördagsgodis, otherwise known as Saturday candy or Saturday sweers was spurred by the outcomes at Vipeholm, which definitively proved that sugar, particularly between meals, causes tooth decay.

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The idea behind Saturday candy is moderation to limit candy consumption to a weekly, rather than a daily, occurrence.

The background of this tradition started in Sweden in the late 1950s as a government project to prevent children from getting cavities.

At the time, a group of researchers went to mental hospital where they forced a group of patients to ingest 24 pieces of a sticky, light brown substance in a single day.

The mentally impaired patients were involuntary participants in a long-term study commissioned by the state medical board in cooperation with big industry, and this coerced feeding would continue for three years.

The four to six doses that they consumed four times a day over that time were in some ways sweeter than their typical medicine but also troubling.

No benefit to the patient was ever expected, rather, the goal was to measure the damage inflicted by the substance over time and determine a dosage safe for public consumption.

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Following the research, candy was off-limits during the week, saved to be enjoyed on weekends.

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