Halloween is coming and with it, an onslaught of candy and sugary treats. The statistics surrounding the sugar intake of the average American are scarier than a haunted house.
According to The American Dental Association, Americans consume 22 teaspoons of added sugar per day. Teenage boys are the biggest culprits, averaging 34 teaspoons per day, or a whopping 550 calories worth! Most of this comes from sweetened beverages.
The recommended “dosage” for sugar, is no more than 9 teaspoons per day for males, and 6 teaspoons for females.
While the health risks longterm can include obesity, diabetes and cancer, but the most obvious concern is dental health. While one big Halloween binge will not cause cavities, the there are other risks to consider. Sticky, gooey candies, such as taffy and caramel get wedged between teeth and are more difficult to remove through brushing. They can also stick to dental appliances and cause breakage of fillings and braces.
Many dentists have offered a buy back program to incentivize kids to give up their candy in the name of oral health. Consider charities that send the excess candy to soldiers serving overseas, or to those less fortunate. Below are some suggestions:
Operation Gratitude (military support)
Operation Shoebox (military support)
Contact your local nursing homes and homeless shelters to find out if they are accepting donations.
Much of the fun of Halloween is dressing up, carving Jack-O-Lanterns and going trick or treating. Sharing the fun with lose less fortunate will have a positive impact on your family’s health, and bring joy to others who cannot share the experience.
Have a safe and Happy Halloween!
photo: Glasshouse Images
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