WASHINGTON – This is supposed to be the “sweet season” — the time of year when candy is in abundance and treats are everywhere. But the extra treats may not be so sweet on your waistline.
Many adults bring candy home by the bagful to hand out for Halloween and kids tote home even more after their trick-or-treat rounds. Like kids, parents are tempted to dig in, but even those small “fun-size” candy bars can do damage to your health.
And even if adults plan on burning the calories off right away, chances are they’ll need to do more walking than the children did during their night of trick-or-treating.
The fun-size Halloween treats can pack quite a calorie wallop in just a few bites — and it seems nobody can eat just one.
“It’s a little hard to eat just one fun-size candy bar at a time,” says Alice Bender, associate director of nutrition programs for the American Institute for Cancer Research.
The AICR checked out calorie counts for some popular Halloween treats on manufacturers’ websites, and on well-known calorie-counter apps. It then figured out how long a 150-pound adult would have to walk at a 20-minute-per-mile pace to work off a single serving.
Using this calculation, a single Reese’s Pumpkin with 170 calories would take 42 minutes.
One 140-calorie serving of candy corn — 19 pieces — would take 35 minutes..
The winner among the fun-size bars for lowest calorie count is 3 Musketeers, which comes in at just 63 calories and only requires 16 minutes of walking. But they are often eaten in multiples.
Bender suggests keeping post-Halloween candy stashes out of sight in a cupboard or even the freezer. She even suggests donating it to troops who “may not have access to these special treats [like] we do.” Organizations such as Operation Shoebox, Treats 4 Our Troops and Mover Moms collect and ensure the distribution of Halloween candy to the troops.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story did not correctly indicate the speed at which a 150-pound adult would have to walk. We regret the error.