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How much sugar IS in Halloween candy?

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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)
Calories: 210
Fat: 11g
Sugars: 21g

Watermelon Jolly Rancher: (three)[iii]
Calories: 70
Total fat: 0g
Sugars: 11 g.

Snickers (mini)
Calories: 45
Total fat: 0.8g
Sugars: 4.5g

Hot Tamales (20 pieces)
Calories: 150
Total Fat: 0g
Sugars: 23g


Milky Way’s chocolate bar (mini)
Calories: 190
Total Fat: 8g
Sugars: 25g


Peanut M&M’s (regular packet)
Calories: 250
Fat: 13g
Sugars: 25g

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 ALRobinson MSmith GJAmbrosini GLPiek JPOddy 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


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