Americans are oftentimes portrayed as the gluttons of the world, but when it comes to candy, especially “lösgodis” (candy sold by the pound), the Swedes are several steps ahead.

The end of the week, Friday, is called “fredagsmys” (cozy Friday) in Sweden and it signals that time has come to unwind and reward yourself and your family with something sweet. The problem is, Swedes seem to think of the entire week that way, it’s “måndagsmys”, “tisdagsmys” and “onsdagsmys” too. The result is that Swedes now down 17 kilos (37.4 lbs) of candy per year and person. A book called “Godis åt folket” (Candy for the people) by Thomas Hedlund and André Persson appeared in Swedish bookstores in late 2009, and it revealed Swedes are now eating more than double the amount of candy they did just 20 years ago, 50% more than the average European Union member, and three times more than is recommended by WHO.

In fact, Swedes carry an all-time world record when it comes to eating candy, no one has as sweet a tooth as the Swede. Professor Claude Marcus at Karolinska Institutet researched the size of the candy bags and the results show a marked increase in size. Together with Doctor Stephan Rössner at the department of obesity at Karolinska University hospital, Marcus recently wrote an article about this new statistics.

“Twenty years ago, you could barely get a child’s hand into a candy bag, now the bags are so big you can put them over your head. The price of candy has also gone down, while the price of fruit and vegetables have increased,” they wrote. Today many Danes cross the bridge to buy cheaper candy in Sweden, as an effect of the sugar tax that many countries (including Denmark) have introduced. Claude Marcus would like to see such a sugar tax in Sweden, but most political parties are resistant. Swedes are already the world’s greatest consumers of coffee and hard cheese, but now they can add candy (as well as some sweet fruit like bananas) to the list.

When WHO pointed a finger at sugar as one of the worst culprits when it comes to cancer, obesity, diabetes and heart-related issues, there was an immediate effect in the sales of candy throughout Scandinavia. That is, everywhere but in Sweden. The Swede happily kept on munching.