Kids eat many things that are not good for them. We need to guide them on how to discern what is a treat, and what is a trick. Most people buy huge bags of candy, and for the adults, often eat a lot of it themselves. Halloween has become an excuse for buying candy in quantity, which often leads to overindulging in sugar.
Sugar and sugar substitutes have been shown to contribute to obesity, and numerous illnesses, including cancer! I’m not saying boycott all sweeteners, but choose wisely as to which ones and how much intake is safe.
Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. Between 20% and 35% of Americans are obese. Rates of diabetes and hypertension are dramatically on the rise.
- More than one-third (36.5%) of U.S. adults have obesity. [Read CDC National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) data briefPDF-704KB]
- Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death. [Read guidelines]
- The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008 U.S. dollars; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight
Adult obesity is causing many serious health problems, including early death. Eating foods high in calories and low in nutrition is creating many new candidates for shortened lives and numerous doctor visits.
This Halloween, take care in choosing the snacks that you offer the trick or treaters, and your family. Consider passing out stickers, small toys, small bags of pretzels, or little boxes of cereal. If you choose to give out fruit, give out pre-packaged dried fruit, like bananas in single servings usually found in your produce aisle.
John Seeley M.A.