Ayds: The weight loss candy with the unfortunate name

1980 Ayds diet candy

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Debuting in 1941, Ayds was a diet candy — basically a piece of caramel or fudge that contained an appetite suppressant. The product appealed particularly to women, who were seemingly on a perpetual quest to get (and stay) slim.

For years, Ayds candy was a big seller… and then came AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). Even though the disease’s name was spelled differently, the similarity defied the adage, “any publicity is good publicity.”

At first, the makers of Ayds said that they didn’t think it was a big deal. In fact, in 1986, Advertising Age talked to a company representative, and reported that “Ayds will be called Ayds regardless of AIDS.”

As Frank DiPrima, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Jeffrey Martin Inc., the company that marketed Ayds, said in that interview, “Consumers are smart enough to tell the difference between a disease and a diet product,” and added, “The product has been around for 45 years. Let the disease change its name.”

Of course, the devastating disorder didn’t change its name, and by 1988, sales of the diet candy were down 50%, and the company was looking for a new moniker. 

They tried re-branding as Aydslim and Diet Ayds, but at some point in the ’90s, the 50-year-old diet aid lost the war. 

Here’s a look back at the famous product over the years.

Vintage Ayds diet candy “takes off ugly fat” (1948)

1948 - Vintage Ayds diet candy - takes off ugly fat

Ayds: Why Hollywood stopped dieting (1958)

After unhappy results that ruined health and wrecked careers, Hollywood stars have rejected dangerous fad diets and now depend on a “candy that snakes you thin.”

“You’ve got to reduce !” How many times Hollywood stars have winced at those words … ! When Ann Miller was making tests for a coveted part in MGM’s “Opposite Sex” — she saw the cameraman signal the director. Ann knew she’d have to trim down — or good-bye part.

Did she panic? Not Ann, for she knew the answer to the problem — the amazing “candy that makes you thin.”

“No starvation diets for me,” Ann was heard to say. “I’ve tried fads before —and they’ve failed. But, darling, the wonders I’ve seen these work!” and she held up a little square candy. P.S. She got the part!

Hollywood used to lose its head in frantic efforts to shed unwanted flesh. When the edict was “Eight pounds off in a week” –the torture began. Pummel tables, starvation regimens, buttermilk at 2-hour intervals — such were the extremes.

ALSO SEE: Women: Do you have the ideal figure? Here’s what ‘they’ thought in 1950

The stars went wacky with “wonder” diets that often brought on collapse… Today’s screen stars now eat candy.

Oh, not ordinary candy, but a special low-calorie vitamin-and-mineral-enriched candy called Ayds. Taken as directed before meals, it curbs the appetite so you automatically eat less and lose weight. And what a figure-saver it’s been for Hollywood.

Take, for instance, Pamela Mason, the talented wife of actor James Mason. With two children and a career of her own, Pamela is a busy person.

“The secret of losing weight is simple appetite control,” says Mrs. Mason. “That’s why I’ve switched to Ayds. It curbs your appetite.” 

…  As Anita Ekberg remarked: “Out here in Hollywood when we have to lose weight, the first thing we think of is Ayds. It’s such a natural way to trim off weight and control it.”

For any fans who want to follow the stars to slimness, it’s just a matter of taking a few steps to pick up a box of Ayds (regular vanilla caramel or new chocolate fudge-type) at the nearest drug or department store.

Ayds 1958 - Why Hollywood stopped dieting - weight loss

Too Fat? (1953)

“Here’s an easy way to reduce.” — says Barbara Hale

No drugs… no diet… results guaranteed! Excess weight may ruin your health and your looks, too. Lovely movie stars lose weight the Ayds way — why not you? In fact, you must lose pounds with the very first box or your money back!

Proved by clinical tests. With Ayds you lose weight the way nature intended you to — without dieting or hunger. A quick natural way, clinically tested and approved by doctors, with no risk to health. With the Ayds Plan you should feel healthier, look better while reducing — have a lovelier figure.

Controls hunger and over-eating. When you take Ayds before meals, as directed, you can eat the foods you like. No starvation dieting — no gnawing hunger pangs. Ayds is a specially made, low-calorie candy fortified with health-giving vitamins and minerals.

Ayds curbs your appetite — you automatically eat less — lose weight naturally, safely, quickly. Ayds is guaranteed pure. Contains no drugs or laxatives.

New loveliness in a few weeks. Users report losing up to ten pounds with the very first box Others say they have lost, twenty to thirty pounds with the Ayds Plan.

Slim the way the stars slim.

1953 Beauty fashion weight actress Ayds

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If Ayds can control her weight… (1961)

…(and doctors proved it can)… It’s sure to keep your figure trim — anytime!

Here’s how this candy works: You feel hunger waves when your stomach is empty and your blood sugar level low. Ayds raises your blood sugar level, quiets hunger waves.

Thus, taken as directed, Ayds actually curbs your appetite, so you automatically eat less. Your calorie intake is reduced, your weight naturally controlled.

The fact is, Ayds is no fad, The Ayds Plan is a tried and medically validated way to control weight. Over the past 18 years. thousands of satisfied users, both women and men, have safely and effectively lost excessive pounds on the Ayds Reducing Plan.

So if you have a weight problem, big or small, why not try Ayds? Remember, newest proof of its safety and effectiveness is that it can now be used by expectant mothers.

Ayds Reducing-Plan Candy, vanilla caramel or chocolate fudge-type, is available at drug and department stores.

The old Ayds weight loss candy 1961 (2)

The old Ayds weight loss candy 1961 (1)

Television can be fattening. (1978)

Snacking and watching TV…two great American pastimes that go together only too well.

A lot of dieters stay with their diet all day long, then give in to the TV temptation at night. That’s when the whole family is there with you, munching away at their snacks. And it’s when you’re hit with those commercials that tell you to go fix yourself a bite.

When you’ve had a long day of dull diet meals, you’re left a little hungry, very bored, and very susceptible to snacking. Before you know it. you’ve given up and joined right in on the munching.

Ayds can help. The Ayds Plan could help end the snacking urge. Unlike a lot of those other diets, it doesn’t leave you feeling empty and bored. Because it’s designed to include many of the foods you like. And while it lets you eat normal, sensible meals, it helps you eat less.

Here’s how it works: first, there’s the calorie-reduced diet. Second, Ayds itself, the delicious, vitamin-enriched candy. Enjoy one or two with a hot drink before meals. Ayds Reducing Plan Candies naturally stimulate the blood sugar apparatus in your body. And because Ayds helps take the edge off your appetite, you eat less and take in fewer calories.

The Ayds Plan worked for Shirley Wentz, pictured at upper left. And it could work for you too.

And here’s an extra hint: If the urge to snack overwhelms you, have a couple of Ayds with a hot drink instead of a fattening snack. Then get ready to watch the premiere of a slimmer you!

ALSO SEE: Vintage Tab diet cola: The first 20 years of this popular sugar-free soda

Ayds diet aid candy - 1978

“Lose weight with the aid of Ayds!” TV commercial (1981)

Ayds help you turn down a turnover. (1978)

Rebuff a cream puff. Say no to a napoleon. Or say no to food that tempts you. With Ayds. Because Ayds help give you the power to say no.

Ayds work naturally to stimulate the blood sugar apparatus in your body. And because Ayds helps you feel satisfied, you want to eat less. So you can stick with your diet, say “no” to extra calories, and “never again” to extra weight.

Cathy Larsen let Ayds work for her. She said yes to the Ayds Reducing Plan, and yes to a terrific new figure. Because Ayds helped her say no.

ALSO SEE: Figurines: Those beloved crispy, crunchy diet bars of the 1970s

Ayds diet candy - 1978

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One is right for you. (1980)

There are now four different Ayds appetite suppressant products. One is right for you.

If you couldn’t lose weight before, Ayds now presents four appetite suppressant products with clinically proven ingredients to help you succeed.

Now there’s an entire family of powerful Ayds products to go with our famous Ayds Diet Plan. Each is special.

Each is different. And one is just right for you.

The appetite suppressant found in each product works so well… yet so safely… that a U.S. Government Advisory Panel calls the active ingredients both “safe” and “effective”

Everyone knows that to lose weight you must reduce calories. Each Ayds formula contains a powerful appetite suppressant that helps curb hunger so it’s easier to eat less and stay on your diet.

Ayds. A name you can trust. In more ways than one.

1980 Ayds diet candy


The Fat Dress. (1980s)

Yards and yards of loose, flowing material can cover up yards and yards of loose, flowing body.

But like all cover-ups, it is only that. Underneath it all, you’re fat. And it makes you feel bad. And you’d like to do something about it. Heaven only knows you’ve tried before. This diet. And that diet. Maybe even pills that promised to melt your extra pounds away. And nothing worked.

Take heart. There is something that works.

Not a miracle, not a drug.

It’s the Ayds Plan. Not a magic wand. And not a drug. Simply a sensible, effective plan to help you take fat off, and keep it off.

First, there’s the calorie-reduced diet. Then there’s Ayds.

A delicious, vitamin-enriched candy. One or two with a hot drink before meals stimulate the blood sugar apparatus in your body.

And because Ayds helps take the edge off your appetite, you can eat less and take in fewer calories. And no matter what you’ve read or heard, that’s the only sensible way to lose weight.

This plan has worked for literally thousands of women. The photos below (in gray) of Cheryl Bruhn are just one example of what the Ayds Plan can do.

Why not put away that fat dress once and for all by putting Ayds Reducing Plan Candy to work for you. Oh, you’ll still have to work at it too. But at least you’ll have help. Which might be just what it takes for you to win. And most of all, we want you to win.

1980s vintage Ayds diet candy ad

MORE: 21 bad vintage product names you wouldn’t see today

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Comments on this story

4 Responses

  1. I used this reducing plan candy also back in the day and it was the greatest thing ever please bring it back change the name to Magic reducing plan candy or the perfect reducing plan candy or awesome reducing plan candy or whatever reducing plan candy you want to call it but please bring it back it was great and now is the perfect time we’re all looking for something that works please

  2. If you ever bring it back (and you should) let me know what you are calling it.
    Loved it, and it worked

  3. My mom used this…… and as a teen struggling to get just a few extra lbs off I ate them too. Worked really well….. bring it back!

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