Listen to the Podcast:
Watch the Video:
Halloween in America:
Some fun… and slightly terrifying… Halloween facts:
- Americans buy approximately 600 million pounds of candy for Halloween…
- That’s over 6x the weight of the Titanic every year in candy!
- What does this cost us?
- Approximately $2 billion per year in America alone!
- The most popular tool for candy collection is plastic jack-o-lanterns…
- The average kid can fit 250 pieces of candy in a single plastic jack-o-lantern
- That’s over 9,000 calories and 3 pounds of sugar per kid!
The History of Trick-Or-Treating:
We explored the history of trick-or-treating which dates back to the middle ages… Game of Thrones style…
- A blend between trick or treating and a 100-year-old holiday called “Candy Day” (invented by the candy companies) led to the birth of Halloween Trick-or-Treating as we currently know it
Candy and Dental Health:
We explored how candy impacts dental health!
- The same way you have a gut microbiome, you also have an oral microbiome
- Sugar changes the pH in your mouth and helps specific types of bacteria thrive
- Most notably, a strain of bacteria called “mutans streptococci”
- These bacteria consume sugar for energy and excrete end products in the form of lactic acid
- That acid leeches away the calcium in your enamel and eventually decays your entire tooth
- This is why people get fillings. To prevent lactic acid from making its way to the nerve endings and rotting the entire tooth, which would require removal!
By the numbers…
- In the months following Halloween, Americans spend over $800 million on emergency dental visits… involving Halloween candy!!
- Cracked teeth
- Broken fillings
- Broken braces
- Damaged retainers etc. etc.
So, let’s be clear about all of this…
- We spend $2 billion per year…
- To buy 600 million pounds of candy…
- Which gives each kid at least 9,000 calories and 3 pounds of sugar…
- Which leads to $800 million in emergency dental visits…
- Could we possibly get this more… “wrong?!”
How Much Sugar?:
Even the broken, food pyramid pushing, mainstream recommend less than 25 grams of sugar per day…
The Top 5 Halloween Candies (per standard package):
- Skittles – 47 grams of sugar
- M&M’s – 30 grams of sugar
- Snickers – 30 grams of sugar
- Reese’s Cups – 20 grams of sugar
- Starburst – 39 grams of sugar
How to Handle Halloween… Responsibly!:
Don’t be a total bummer and stop your kids from partaking… I love Halloween. I loved it growing up. I loved trick or treating!
Just step in with some good old-fashioned parenting!
- Give your kids a few pieces of candy on Halloween night, then lock the candy away where they can’t get to it.
- Give them 1-2 pieces, as a dessert treat, after dinner for the next few days… Then the candy magically disappears!
- We talked about the Halloween candy buyback program