Well, tonight is Halloween and lots of little goblins (and adults tricksters as well) 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…..
First of all, you would be amazed at the amount of candy we typically consume on Halloween–The average American (and this includes adults) eats nearly 3.2 pounds of candy on Halloween! This equates to more than 7000 calories all at once—in order to burn this off, you would have to walk nearly 180 miles. Americans buy 600 million pounds of candy for Halloween every single year!
Portion Sizes Matter!
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 ideal in that it satisfies a craving and does not completely blow your diet. Fun size or snack size bars contain only 75-100 calories—which is the maximum daily-recommended total for sweets!
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 in our diet. When we eat sugar, our brains actually develop and addiction and long for more. Soon it takes more sugar to satisfy our cravings. This can result in further weight gain. In addition, when we eat sugar, we are typically not moving—many of us consume sugar while sitting on the couch and watching TV.
So, How Do You Have a Fun, Festive and Save Halloween?
If you have Kids, parents should check treats at home. Give children an early meal before they head out to discourage snacking—don’t let kids (big or small) 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. Make sure that kids wear costumes with bright colors and reflective materials. Avoid masks that obscure vision and always have a chaperone. For adult Halloween goers it is important to designate a driver and make sure that when you are reveling late into the night that you have friend with you—always watch out for one another. Never leave drinks or food unattended in order to make sure that nothing is ever added to your Halloween treat.
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
For Big Kids—
–Don’t Drink and Drive
–Be aware of little goblins who are out and about when you are driving. Twice as many child pedestrians are killed on Halloween night than on any other night of the year.
— Consider an overnight stay. If attending a party at a friend’s home, consider asking to stay overnight or look into hotel accommodations within walking distance.
–Exercise before going out and eat a healthy meal before beginning your Halloween night festivities
–Avoid binging on alcohol—the real horror can be the day after Halloween!
Remember, be safe, have FUN and have Happy Halloween from all of us at Bold.Global!
Photo courtesy of Dr Kevin Campbell. Pictured: @DrKevinCampbell & @DrDeborahFisher
Dr Kevin Campbell, MD, FACC is chief medical correspondent for Bold.global. Dr. Campbell is an internationally recognized Cardiologist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of heart rhythm disorders. Dr. Campbell is the Medical Expert for WNCN and appears weekly on the CBS morning news and also makes frequent appearances nationally on Fox News, CBS, and HLN.