Doctors warn over bulb-shaped candy risks

A bulb-shaped candy is becoming popular among online shoppers, though doctors are warning consumers over its safety and health risks.
Doctors warn over bulb-shaped candy risks

The candy is simply a bulb of sugar with no other nutrients.

Doctors are warning of the risks of a candy shaped like a light bulb which has become popular with online shoppers.

The candy, made of granulated and malt sugar, is the same volume and shape as a real bulb and weighs about 200 grams. It is 6 centimeters in diameter and about 10 centimeters long.

On some social media platforms, purchasers posted videos where they put the whole candy into their mouths, and then struggled to take it out as it easily became stuck.

An online store owner based in Chengdu, southwest China's Sichuan Province, said his store on Taobao had sold over 2,700 such candies at 29.8 yuan (US$4.5) each. The store was currently out of stock due to increased orders with the approach of Christmas.

According to customers’ comments, most bought the candies to follow the online trend.

“I saw some people posted video of how they eat the candy on Weibo, and want to try if my mouth is big enough, too,” Zhao Shun wrote in her comment after she made a purchase.

Currently, most bulb-shaped candies are sold through online stores.

Doctors warned that consuming such candies improperly could be dangerous.

“Potential mechanical injury is the major concern,” said Zhang Jin’an, director of Zhoupu Hospital’s endocrinology department. “Most people are able to open their mouth to about 4 centimeters wide, while the bulb-shaped candy has a diameter of 6 centimeters.”

Zhang also commented on the fragile nature of the product. 

“Once the candy is broken, the fragments can easily enter the windpipe. Also, the sharp stick inside the candy can be potentially dangerous if one is not careful enough.”

Zhang also said the candy could be harmful for diabetes patients.

“The amount of sugar in one bulb-shaped candy equals to three 100-gram steamed buns. But compared to steamed buns, the candy contains no other nutrition, which can be considered as an unhealthy food,” Zhang said.

Doctors warn over bulb-shaped candy risks

The bulb-shaped sugar candy

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