Halloween is here and many Illinoisans will be going out and trick-or-treating, making holiday snacks, and enjoying the festivities of the spooky season. With all things, experts warn about moderation, especially with sugar intake.
According to the American Heart Association, kids ages 2-18 should have less than 25 grams or about six teaspoons of added sugar daily. Eating too much added sugar is linked to high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and an increased risk for heart disease. Sara Umphfleet, RD, LDN, is a dietitian with OSF Healthcare Saint Luke Medical Center in Kewanee. She says some snacks probably have a lot more sugar than you realize.
The average child consumes three cups of sugar on Halloween alone according to Fortune Magazine. That is nearly 27 times the recommended amount. Americans also purchase nearly 600 million pounds of candy for Halloween and Trick-or-treaters. Umphfleet recommends toys as opposed to candy.
She encourages parents to give candy to children in moderation. Too much candy, Umphfleet says, can lead to a sugar crash.
Above all else, Umphfleet recommends staying hydrated especially as you go out. She says that with colder temperatures, people tend to forget to stay hydrated, but it is still important.
While candy is a big part of the Halloween festivities, Umphfleet says finally, to spend some time watching a good Halloween movie, looking at local decorations, and carving pumpkins.