Although there was an outpouring of professed love and even some grief when Hostess went bankrupt in 2012 and the prepackaged sweets like Twinkies disappeared from shelves, it seemed as if it had been a long while since anyone could actually remember eating a Twinkie. Same thing for those puffy, powdered doughnuts, and all those single-wrapped cookies that lurk untouched in cardboard boxes by registers at the corner store. Now it seems a new study confirms what we maybe already knew: All of these baked things are a lot less popular than they used to be, and fewer people are eating them.
That’s the still-surprising finding of a new paper just published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which tracked household purchases of so-called ready-to-eat grain-based desserts, including sweets packaged in grocery stores. Consumption of baked goods in this category decreased by a full 24 percent from 2005 to 2012. These products also showed “little change in the nutritional content,” while their sugar and saturated fat “densities” remained the same year after year, so it’s not as if everyone is suddenly binging on fewer amounts of far healthier cookies. Dr. Kevin C. Mathias, the study’s lead author, says the findings also indicate the lull in sales represents an opportunity for changes to front-of-package labels that tout lower saturated fat and fewer calories, so while we may be eating fewer unhealthy doughnuts overall, we’ll no doubt soon be seeing a lot more ads for healthy-sounding ones.