As I mentioned yesterday, candy plays a central role in the celebration of Halloween. Around this time of year, though, you may hear people connecting the over-consumption of candy to poor health and obesity.
The real facts are that people consume candy in relatively small quantities – on average it contributes two to three percent to the American diet – and it is not associated with obesity, increased weight or increased risk factors for heart disease.
What’s more is that when it comes to seasonal candy, adults really are the gatekeepers with 78 percent of parents moderating consumption in some manner. According to consumer research conducted earlier this year by NCA, 41 percent of parents say they limit their child’s consumption to “a couple of pieces a day” until the candy runs out, rather than let the kids have free reign over the sweet treats. Some parents – 24 percent – say they take responsibility for the candy and dole it out as they see fit while others – 13 percent – limit their children’s consumption to a certain number of pieces in total and take the rest away.
Either way, 74 percent of those adults surveyed agree that eating healthfully can include the enjoyment of seasonal candy (duh!). This may come as a surprise, but Halloween is the top holiday to share chocolate or candy with family, friends and colleagues – beating out Easter and Valentine’s Day (sixty-two percent of survey respondents versus 49 percent and 50 percent, respectively). It’s no wonder, then, that across America 55 percent of households have a family rule that Halloween candy must be shared by everyone, further demonstrating that sharing is caring.
So what will your family do for Halloween? Check out our daily and weekly moderation guides and then create a plan of consumption to ensure you take part in the sweet fun of Halloween, without over-indulging.