Confectionary holidays prove detrimental to healthy diets


Ross Parks

candyfixedHalloween is just the beginning of the many banquets offered up by the holiday season. However, in terms of health and the theme of the holidays, it’s by far the scariest.
It is a time given to the sole purpose of eating exactly what one has always been told not to and is so entrenched in confectionary goods that the American population consumes 35 million pounds of candy in just one night according to Whether one attends a party, or goes out with pillowcase in hand, there is bound to be candy at every turn on Halloween.
“I’ll probably just buy some junk food and sit around and watch scary movies,” sophomore Melina Griner said. “I’m not too worried about overeating; it’s Halloween.”
Still, while some may appear apathetic to the temptations of eating too much of Halloween’s bountiful harvest, if you pick right and want to remain on a diet, it may be possible.
It is far from the truth to attest that there exists a candy that is common, cheap, delicious and healthy. More so, it’s a case of the lesser of evils. In an article published on the Reader’s Digest website, there were a few candies that made a list of under 100 calories per serving, and the best news is, they weren’t apples. According to the site, 3 Musketeers, Jolly Ranchers, Tootsie Rolls and Peanut M&M’s all made the cut. In all, perhaps a diverse list of calorie conservative candies.
However, despite some calorie savvy candies, the more worrisome is that there are more commonly eaten candies that can pack on the pounds pretty quickly. Perhaps it may behoove one to look more closely at the unhealthy candies to avoid them.
“I would have to say that the best candies are Baby Ruths, Hershey’s Bars and Twizzlers,” senior Laysie Doorman said. “They’re really all [the candy] I eat on Halloween.”
According to Reader’s Digest, some of the candies which exceed any justifiable amount of sugar, fat or caloric intake include Baby Ruth, Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins and Twizzlers, among others, all of which either matched or far exceed 150 calories per serving. To better put that into perspective, it would only take about 12 mini Butter Fingers to reach one’s daily calorie limit, assuming one eats 2,000 calories a day.
“Candy is by far the best part of Halloween,” junior Alex Gompper said. “Butterfingers are my favorite, but they’re kind of rare.”
Overall, while some may want to be considerate of what they eat, not only on a regular basis, but even on special occasions, the truth that is most people aren’t. That poses a problem, because according to the American Heart Association, “… our bodies don’t need sugar to function properly.”
According to the AHA, nobody needs to ingest sugar-related products unless they have a condition where one would need to manipulate their blood sugar levels. Everyone actually gets plenty of sugar from their daily food intake.
Despite its scary dietary appearance, the day is really a time for creatures and characters of the past, present and future, to come out and enjoy the little things in life, and a lot of them.
While Halloween may get a bad rap as an unhealthy holiday, it is actually just one of the many American celebrations that condone the consumption of sweets. According to, while Halloween reigns supreme in amount of candy bought, a whopping 2.3 billion dollars worth in 2011 alone, it is still followed closely by both Easter and Valentine’s Day.
Nevertheless, this year, like many before, Halloween will be a time when goblins gobble, monsters munch and human children of the western world consume unholy amounts of sugar all in one night in the name of fun, whatever form it may take.
“I might go [out]” Gompper said, “but more than likely I’ll just stay at home and eat hand out candy.”
By Ross Parks