Happy Halloween!! The United States might be in a tricky economic situation, but it won't stop Americans from buying vampire fangs or princess tiaras this year. And if the ghosts and goblins aren't scary enough, the health statistics and effects from all that candy might be. Get ready for trick-or-treating with these nuggets of information:
*According to an annual survey done by the National Retail Federation, 7 in 10 Americans will celebrate Halloween in 2011 (the most in the surveys history), and spending will be slightly up. Yes even in the down economy! On average, people will spend $72.31 on costumes, candy, and decorations. Total Halloween spending: $6.9 billion.
*According to CNN; The average household has shelled out $21.05 in Halloween candy alone.
*The U.S. Census Bureau says roughly 41 million children ages 5 to 14 go trick-or-treating each year.
*According to Nielsen Research, approximately $1.9 billion (or 598 million pounds) of candy is sold during the Halloween season in the U.S.
*Chocolate makes up about three-quarters of a trick-or-treater’s loot, according to the National Confectioners Association.
*National Confectioners Association more than 35 million pounds of candy corn will be produced this year: “That equates to nearly 9 billion pieces—enough to circle the moon nearly 21 times if laid end-to-end”
*One serving of Candy Corn (about 30 pieces) has 140 calories, the equivalent of three miniature Hershey bars.
*The average child collects an estimated 3,500 and 7,000 calories on Halloween night, according to Dr. Donna Arnett, chair of the Department of Epidemiology in the University of Alabama at Birmingham's School of Public Health. The estimate was based on nutrition facts of popular Halloween candies.
*A 100-pound child who eats 7,000 calories worth of candy would have to walk for almost 44 hours or play full-court basketball for 14.5 hours to burn those calories, according to Arnett.
*Four out of ten (41%) adults admit that they sneak sweets from their own candy bowl.
*90% of parents admit to sneaking goodies from their kids' Halloween trick-or-treat bags.
*Snopes.com, a Web site that debunks urban legends, has a well-annotated article entitled Halloween Poisonings in which the author finds no evidence of their ever having been a “genuine Halloween poisoning” — one in which a child randomly has been given a cyanide-laced candy or razor-embedded apple while going trick-or-treating. A documented case of a child being poisoned by Halloween candy, on October 31st, 1974 in Houston, Texas, turned out to be a filicide — a father deliberately poisoned his son, and blamed it on Halloween. (He allegedly gave the poisoned candy to other children to cover his tracks, but nobody else fell ill.) Ronald Clark O’Bryan was convicted of the crime of murder and executed. In other words: mom's stop freaking out!
*This from an article last year on CNN: “although some parents may be tempted to space out the amount of candy their children consume after Halloween, dentists have advice to the contrary: When it comes to teeth, it’s better to eat a whole lot of candy at once than to space out candy consumption over time. Basically, the fewer episodes of candy eating, the better. “It makes sense, given that cavities form when bacteria in plaque ferments the sugars in candies and creates acid that attacks the tooth’s surface, says Dr. Clarice Law, assistant professor of dentistry at the University of California-Los Angeles School of Dentistry. “Repeated “attacks” lead to cavities, so eating a bunch of candy — for example, with a meal — and then brushing your teeth is better than spreading that candy out over time. Law doesn’t recommend binging but does advise that children limit their candy-eating episodes.”
Have fun and be safe out there tonight!!