You think Halloween is scary?

Do the sugar math and weigh the health risks associated with the holiday

Halloween is a popular October tradition for trick-or-treaters. What’s even more terrifying than the creepy costumes and decorations is the sugar content in these candies the children are bringing home. Did you know Americans consume far more added sugars than recommended? On average an adult consumes 22 teaspoons of added sugars daily (equaling 355 calories) when the American Heart Association recommends no more than 9 teaspoons. Kids consume far more than an adult on average. The CDC’s dietary guidelines recommend that added sugars, solid fats and discretionary calories combined should not exceed 15% of daily diet. However kids and teens on average consume more than this percentage with added sugars alone.

Halloween Candy

One day of consuming these added sugars from Halloween candy generally isn’t a concern, rather the problems arise from bringing home pounds and pounds of candy that last several weeks or months. The consumption of the sugars repeatedly overtime is increasing the damaging effect. The less often a child’s teeth are exposed to added sugars the less risk for cavity development and other health risks as well.

Helpful Tips:
Limit sugar intake to mealtimes when carbohydrates are already being consumed.

Avoid sticky, gooey, gummy candies that stick in grooves of teeth for long periods.
Chocolates are a better candy to allow due to the fast melting process and thus decreased contact time with teeth.

Trade your kids candy in for other items they are interested in acquiring.
Find a dentist who has a candy buyback program.

Dentists average pay out is $1 per pound of candy brought in. This will be the 11th year that Tenino Family Dental has sponsored a candy buyback program. They offer all kids $1 per pound for their candy and enter them in a drawing for gift certificates.