(Via KARK) If you think creepy clowns are the scariest thing you’ll encounter this Halloween, think again.
All that candy from trick or treating can skyrocket your child’s sugar consumption to frightening levels and some doctors say it might even affect their long-term health.
“I think it’s about constructing healthy habits,” says Dr. Andre Paixao with Arkansas Heart Hospital.
But Halloween can mask even the healthiest of habits, as trick or treaters collect buckets full of sweets.
“If you allow people to consume an obscene amount of candy this time of year, they’ll carry some of that throughout the year, develop a sort of sweet tooth and that is what we can link to heart disease,” Dr. Paixao explains.
It’s not just heart disease that’s a concern. Too much sugar can also put your child at risk for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and insulin resistance, as they get older.
“The lifestyle choices we make as a child, dietary habits, we tend to carry on to adulthood,” he adds.
Chew on this for a minute. The American Heart Association says children aged 2-18 shouldn’t consume more than six teaspoons of sugar a day. That’s 30 grams of sugar, which you’ll find in roughly three pieces of fun-sized candy.
“Watch the labels and avoid things with very high sugar content,” the doctor advises.
That can be difficult to do when most Halloween-sized candy doesn’t actually have the nutritional info printed on the wrapper.
“This one’s problematic. Doesn’t say how much sugar is in it,” continues Dr. Paixao, who also warns parents not to be tricked by treats marketed as “healthy alternatives” like fruit snacks, often packed with just as much sugar.
If you’re in doubt, you could let the kids binge, or you could just throw it back in the bin.
Nutritionists estimate some trick or treaters will eat up to 7-thousand calories on Halloween night, just from candy.