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Ayds Weight-Loss Candy
Status: Real
image On Google video there are a couple of commercials from the early 80s touting a weight-loss product called Ayds. (An Ayds radio commercial can be heard here.) The name of the product is so unfortunate, that it makes the ads sound like Saturday Night Live skits, with lines such as: "Ayds helps you control your appetite so you lose weight... Why take diet pills when you can enjoy Ayds?... Ayds helps you lose weight safely and effectively!"

However, the ads are totally real, as was the product. Many of you might even remember it (though I don't). Ayds was an appetite-suppressant candy that came in chocolate, butterscotch and caramel flavors. During the 70s it was one of the top-selling weight-loss products. But then along came AIDS. In 1983 Time Magazine reported retailers as saying that "the disease is not hurting the product... Ayds sales have never been better." However, by 1988 the Associated Press was reporting that Ayds sales were down 50 percent, because of the similarity between its name and AIDS. This prompted the maker of the candy to change its name to Diet Ayds. The AP reported "Dep chairman Robert Berglass told the AP the company wanted to soften the name without completely changing it and losing identification. Sales were moving back up, he said, but he was reluctant to predict a full recovery." Evidently the candy didn't make a recovery, but I can't find any record of exactly when it ceased being sold.
Categories: Food
Posted by The Curator on Wed Feb 22, 2006
Comments (86)
I'm reminded of the South Park episode, featuring Jared, the guy from the Subway commercials..

It's revealed that he lost a lot of that weight because he had a couple of aides.. and in fact, he thinks everybody should get aides to help them lose weight and feel great!
Posted by Bobcat  on  Wed Feb 22, 2006  at  01:47 AM
My father (Ayds!)
My sister (Ayds!)
My uncle and my cousin and her best friend (Ayds! Ayds! Ayds!)
The gays and the straights
And the white and the spades
Everyone has Ayds!
Ayds! Ayds! Ayds! Ayds! Ayds!

etc.
Posted by outeast  on  Wed Feb 22, 2006  at  03:16 AM
I remember these commercials as well as how quickly they were pulled and the product taken off the shelves. I always thought it was so sad that they had the misfortune to choose that name.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Wed Feb 22, 2006  at  10:10 AM
I remember these _way_ long before AIDS. They were around for some time. I used to eat them. They tasted pretty good.
Posted by Bill  on  Wed Feb 22, 2006  at  10:48 AM
Heck, I remember WAY back when the product was actually spelled Aids. My grandmother was addicted to those things, even though she never lost a pound in her entire 86 years.
Posted by Ima Fish  on  Wed Feb 22, 2006  at  12:11 PM
I remember AYDS Candy well. It was constantly advertised on the cheaper TV channels for about 20 years, until, as Alex says, there happened to be a global pandemic of a virus known as AIDS, which, as a matter of fact, also causes rapid weight loss (the popular name in several African countries for HIV/AIDS is "Slim").

I also remember, somewhat less vividly, several organizations with names having the acronyms "AID" or "AIDS", most of which ended up changing their names by the end of the 1980s, because (1) there was a serious stigma attached to having AIDS in the early years of the pandemic, and (2) the names were confusing for organizations that had nothing to do with preventing or treating HIV infections.
Posted by Big Gary, on another quail hunt  in  Dallas, Texas, USA  on  Wed Feb 22, 2006  at  02:01 PM
I remember Ayds; I worked in a drugstore in the early 80s, and we sold them. I also remember a rumor in the 70s that they contained tapeworms, and that was what caused you to lose weight.
Posted by Elizabeth  in  MA  on  Wed Feb 22, 2006  at  02:41 PM
Supposedly AYDS candy contained an appetite supressant. I don't think the advertisements ever said what the active ingredient was (nicotine? cocaine?). You were supposed to eat the candy about a half hour before meal time, and then you wouldn't be as hungry. I don't know if it really worked, but I don't remember there being any shortage of overweight people while AYDS was popular.
Posted by Big Gary, on another quail hunt  in  Dallas, Texas, USA  on  Wed Feb 22, 2006  at  06:06 PM
My mom used to buy those and my sister and I would sneak one every now and then. I remember the chocolate mint kind - they were pretty good.
Posted by Average Jane  on  Fri Feb 24, 2006  at  06:11 PM
According to this:
http://www.nutriwatch.org/09Reg/FTC/weight.html

Ayds dates back to at least 1944, assuming that I am reading the page correctly and that it is correct. Ayds has Benzocaine in it, which is a topical anaesthetic (it numbs the point of contact). Presumably the idea is that the Benzocaine will numb your stomach, although I would expect this to actually increase your appetite, as you would feel less full.

I assume the act of eating anything shortly before a meal would make you feel less hungry, which might explain why people continued taking Ayds. Have a cup of tea instead.

It's also worth noting that Cancer is a sign of the Zodiac; they haven't changed the name yet, but it can only be a matter of time. I have spoken to a man called De'Ath.
Posted by Ashley Pomeroy  on  Sat Feb 25, 2006  at  08:49 AM
If Benzocaine really was the active ingredient, I suppose it was meant to work by numbing your taste buds (on your tongue), not your stomach. I guess that would make food less appealing.
Posted by Big Gary, out to lunch  on  Sat Feb 25, 2006  at  12:47 PM
Not only do I remember Ayds, I used them for quite awhile thoughout my teenage years. What you supposed to do is eat one and drink a large glass of water. Along with numbing your tongue, the water made you feel full. Heck, you can just drink water before a meal and lose weight! Anyways, The Carlton company had a massive lawsuit filed against them by the FTC.

By the way, I found a box of 1950s Ayds on Ebay for 14.99. Sheesh!

http://goodee2shoes.blogspot.com/
Posted by Lori Gallego  in  Los Angeles, California  on  Tue Feb 28, 2006  at  11:05 PM
i remember watching an Ayds commercial on webjunk 20. Its really sad to see this product with a name like this. so sad...
Posted by Eva  in  New York  on  Sat Mar 18, 2006  at  08:27 PM
Used Ayds in the late 60's. Worked great, wish they were still around.
Posted by Ismael Estrada  in  Posey California  on  Sat Mar 25, 2006  at  05:39 AM
Oh, My Gosh , you foolish people, I used Ayds,, has nothing to do with the other aids. It really works great . It was the only time I stayed thin. I wish I could buy it now. I bet many baby boomers do.
Posted by Catharina Meylin  on  Sat Mar 25, 2006  at  05:54 PM
I am with the last person--I wished I could find the diet candy Ayds it was awesome and it DID work!!
Posted by Tanya  on  Sat Jun 03, 2006  at  01:31 PM
Elizabeth in MA said: I remember Ayds; I worked in a drugstore in the early 80s, and we sold them. I also remember a rumor in the 70s that they contained tapeworms, and that was what caused you to lose weight.
Posted by Elizabeth in MA on Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 11:41 AM
=============================================

I remember them as well, and I remember the rumor about their containing tapeworm eggs!

I also grew up in MA, so perhaps it was a Massachusetts urban legend.

I'd forgotten all about "Ayds."

Hmph.
Posted by SoxSweepAgain  in  NYC  on  Mon Jun 26, 2006  at  01:24 PM
I remember Ayds extremely well. I used to take them in the 70's. Boy how great it would be if they were still available. To bad the manufacturer doesn't read all the comments above and maybe they might just start selling them again. I would be the first one to buy as many as I can. They worked then and I am sure they would work now.
Posted by KATHY RIGGIO  in  FLORIDA  on  Wed Jul 26, 2006  at  11:00 AM
I remember the Ayds candy it work for me when I was a teenager in the 60's. I had a problem of always being called fat. So I taken my babysitting money and brought a box of the Ayds candy. This product work wonderfully for me because, I like sweets and my mother would want me to clean my plate for dinner. I would eat the candy and do as she said and still I was losing the weight. I did not know the company was not in business anymore. I really wish they were still there for me and many other that it help. I recent need to lose weight, this medication and nerves, cause me to want to eat more and the problems, stress. I really don't eat right and just need a little help. When taken the Adys candy, I would eat more salads and fruits. Please can someone tell the company or get a labatories to re-name or remake to help people who once had a success with this product. I hope you can help if not I'll do the best I can.
Posted by Janet Brooks  in  Missouri  on  Fri Sep 01, 2006  at  10:23 AM
I think Ayds is really helpful in weight loss. If you are looking for some more <weight loss help, you can get from this Brad's famous weight loss site.
Posted by Fast weight loss  in  NY  on  Wed Sep 27, 2006  at  12:22 AM
My Granmother and Aunts were never without their AYDS. Let me tell you, they may as well have been laced with coke, these ladies were productive! ADYS, coffee and cigarettes the breakfast of champions if you were a woman in the early 70's. My grandmother kept them in her room next to her bed (along with the Benson&Hedges; 100's). I would sneak into the box, there seemed like there were hundreds in that box. Rows and rows of yummy little plastic wrapped candies that looked just like candy caramels. Being only 6 years old I figured it was candy that they were hiding from me so why not sneak a few - afterall that box was virtually bottomless! Then one day I ate a candy in my other aunts room. She was the free thinker, not held down to the pressures of being the perfect woman. She went to Woodstock, she liked rock music! She was pretty and fun! It was wrapped in a plastsic wrapper just like AYDS. It was also sticky and a little chewy Like AYDS. But then it tasted crumbly and not very yummy so I took the other half, patted it back together, wrapped it back up and put it back in her pretty little jewelry box. The last thing I recall was trying to dance with our terrier on the coffee table and my grandmother yelling, "wait til your mother get's home!". Yeah, ok so that was my first hash experience.
Bring back AYDS!
Posted by Kimberlie  in  Mill Neck NY  on  Wed Jan 03, 2007  at  04:15 PM
The ingredient in Ayds that suppressed your appetite was the same thing that's in nasal spray.

I remember the product Ayds, but it seemed that it was already fading before the AIDS epidemic became widely known. If that percepetion is incorrect, it seems silly that they didn't simply change the name to something completely different.
Posted by Staley  in  Dallas, TX  on  Mon Jan 08, 2007  at  09:45 PM
I remember Ayds as well. As a kid I would sneak a few from time to time -- although I believe the active ingredient was phenylproponalamine, not benzocaine as someone else said. And since the stop meth act of 2005, you can't get that any more in a diet pill, so anyone wanting that again (or the original dexatrim or anything like it) -- heh, sorry, you're out of luck!

I'd forgotten about these things -- too funny to bring it up in today's context!!!
Posted by Lou  in  Raleigh, NC  on  Fri Jan 26, 2007  at  01:38 PM
wow! that's the "best marketing compagin ever"
Posted by peter  on  Wed Mar 14, 2007  at  10:40 AM
I remember in the seventies when it was spelled AIDS. It was the only diet product around. I wanted to lose weight as around 14 and I would always see it in the corner Pharmacy in my Montreal neighbourhood (those little pharmacies do not exist anymore). I saved my money and ran to buy it. I was a bit embarassed in case someone saw me buying it. smile

I found that they held a secret to losing weight. I don't think I lost any, but still I liked eating them and thinking I would lose weight.
When the aids epidemic came into being in the mid eightees, sadly I did put the two together.

I wonder where they are now? Under some new name selling diet pills instead?
Posted by ZORANA  on  Sun Apr 01, 2007  at  01:10 AM
Ironoic, isn't it...
Posted by will  in  new york  on  Sun Apr 15, 2007  at  04:55 PM
Worms in Ayds was a popular urban legend. Our nun in 7th grade told the class she had a friend that put an ayd (?) on the window sill and came back and worms were all over it. This same nun constantly sent our inane essays to the National Inquirer. For entertainment value alone, Catholic School was worth it.
Posted by Neil in PA  in  King of Prussia, PA  on  Wed May 09, 2007  at  10:45 PM
i remember Ayds... i've been looking for them for years. :( it's too bad they're no longer made. it's no better than the other fake diet aids out there... but some people need mental psych outs, if it works, it works. and it worked for a lot of people.

like Ima, my grandmother also had those little packages. i guess that's why i attach such good thoughts and nostalgia to them. they remind me of my grandmother.

i miss Ayds. only newbies associate AIDS with Ayds.... but then, there are older timers who remember Burma Shave and Lucky Strikes with the warm glow of nostalgia, too. i'm a newbie, too. so it's all good. it'd be better if someone brought Ayds back, though.
Posted by anouka  on  Sun Jun 03, 2007  at  11:20 PM
I have no idea what those marketing advisers were thinking when they came up with that name. Were they on something? I mean there's a whole bunch of people who can't spell words right, not to mention the fact the the only mentioning of AIDS makes most of people shiver and become reluctant. What they did was pure suicide.
Posted by canadian pharmacy  on  Sun Jun 17, 2007  at  05:16 PM
Um, Ayds came out years before AIDS hit the news. It was an unfortunate coincindence, but nothing more.

Of course you'd have known this if you had bothered reading the article.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Mon Jun 18, 2007  at  12:23 PM
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