Is Halloween Candy Really a Treat?
So I hate to be the Grinch that ruins Halloween for the kiddos, but, as a health coach I feel morally obligated to speak up about the dangers of the impending holiday’s main feature: candy.
Many adults are becoming more and more aware of just how harmful sugar is and its role in causing diseases. But while people are aware of and avoiding sugar in products such as candy, cookies and cakes, many are just learning exactly how much sugar is included in seemingly innocent grocery store items. Salad dressings, pasta sauce, bread, yogurt – it’s in everything! Those trying to follow a low-fat or sugar-free diet are then tricked into eating items that have artificial poisonous sugars in them such as aspartame. And still others trying to eat healthy switch to stevia and agave nectar, but unfortunately those processed and refined products have the same affect on the body as plain old sugar.
Now we have a yearly tradition of handing out sugary “treats” to kids who trust us with their lives. What are we actually doing? Handing them poison! I’d say it’s not poison if it’s just a small amount, but if kids today are anything like I was, the more candy the better! And when mom and dad would hide it, it became a top priority to find the candy – much like a drug addict looking for the lost stash, because that’s indeed the same effect candy has on the brain.
Now, I don’t have kids of my own, and I can only imagine how hard it would be to sit them down for “the talk” that their candy supply is limited, but I know it’s a difficult conversation worth having. And I’m sure that conversation will be appreciated, both in the short term when the kids don’t stay up until all hours because of a sugar high, and in the long run come January/February when they are actually able to avoid coughs and colds – unlike their sugar laden classmates.
Still need a little convincing that kids eat a lot of sugar as it is? Check out this Ted Talk that Jamie Oliver did in which he gives a great visual of just how much sugar kids are getting in school. http://www.ted.com/talks/jamie_oliver.html