How much sugar IS in Halloween candy?
Happy Halloween! Today, for many children, is the sweetest day of the year — literally!
Soon your children will go on their trick-or-treat adventures, and return home bouncing off the walls. Just looking at the nutrition labels in their little (or, more likely, overflowing) bags ‘o goodies is enough to make a mom — or a dentist, for that matter — want to weep.
The link between sugar and kids behaving badly has been suspected for years. But actually, scientific studies haven’t found a sugar-hyperactivity link[i] — though one study did come close. Researchers in Australia found last year that adolescents eating a “Western” diet, including fast, processed, and high-sugar foods, had more ADHD than those who ate a “healthy” diet, rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and fish.[ii]
That’s plenty of evidence for us that kids are better off without too much sugar. Here are the basic nutrition facts on a few popular trick-or-treat items:
Kit Kat (mini)
Watermelon Jolly Rancher: (three)[iii]
Total fat: 0g
Sugars: 11 g.
Total fat: 0.8g
Hot Tamales (20 pieces)
Total Fat: 0g
Milky Way’s chocolate bar (mini)
Total Fat: 8g
Peanut M&M’s (regular packet)
As you can see, when it comes to cutting sugar intake, hard candies (not chocolates) are definitely the healthier way to go.
[i] Wolraich, M.L., Wilson, D.B., White, J.W. The Effect of Sugar on Behavior or Cognition in Children. JAMA. 1995;274(20):1617-1621.
[ii] Howard AL, Robinson M, Smith GJ, Ambrosini GL, Piek JP, Oddy WH. ADHD is associated with a “Western” dietary pattern in adolescents. J Atten Disord. 2011 Jul;15(5):403-11. Epub 2010 Jul 14.
[iii] All nutrition information is according to CalorieKing.com