Dr. Campbell: Halloween’s impact on your health

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Tonight is Halloween and lots of little goblins will be out on the street in your neighborhood searching for yummy treats.

While Halloween is meant to be a fun, kid-friendly holiday, there are some things to consider to avoid the “Halloween binge.”

1. How much candy do we typically consume on Halloween? How much sugar is that?

The average American (and this includes adults) eats nearly 1.2 pounds of candy on Halloween. In fact, Americans buy 600 million pounds of candy for Halloween every single year.

A full-size candy bar is nearly 300 calories—that is three to four times the daily allowance for sweets. A snack size candy bar is perfect. Those are only 75-100 calories—which is the daily recommended max for sweets.

2. What are some dangers of over consumption of sugar?

While sugar tastes fantastic and our brains crave it, sugar contains lots of empty calories that can easily result in weight gain and obesity. Sugar has no vitamins, minerals or nutrients. In fact, sugar displaces the consumption of other healthier foods.

3. What about safety tips for the candy your kids bring home?

• Parents should check treats at home
• Give children an early meal before they head out to discourage snacking—don’t let kids go out on an empty stomach
• Avoid small toys that may be choking hazards, avoid non-commercially wrapped treats
• Throw away anything that looks suspicious

4. What are some tips to avoid the Halloween binge and still have a great time?

• Limit consumption on Halloween night. Allow kids to enjoy the treats but place a limit on how much they consume
• Eat candy at the dinner table as dessert rather than eat it in front of the TV or while sitting on the couch
• Limit consumption to a couple of pieces a day
• Offer your kids a trade—the candy for a special toy or family outing

To get in touch with Dr. Campbell, you can head to his website, Facebook page or message him on Twitter.

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