It’s that spooky time of year again.
Not because of neighborhood kids masquerading as ghosts, goblins and ghouls.
Halloween candyBut because of scary candies.
Beginning Halloween, through the end of the year — for a whopping two-plus months — millions tend to completely “forget” the fact that too much sugar can trigger harmful effects on your children’s health, including obesity, of course. .
On Spooky Sugar Overload Day – my phrase for Halloween — millions develop collective amnesia about how rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes and other crippling sugar-triggered ailments are skyrocketing.
And every year, at this time, I watch in astonishment at how cool, chic and accepted it’s become to hurl your neighbor’s kids into Sugar Shock.
This year 74 percent of households in the United States are expected to hand candies to trick-or-treaters (80 percent of households with children will do so), according to the candy-promoting National Confectioners Association. http://www.candyusa.com/FunStuff/content.cfm?ItemNumber=5137&navItemNumber=4569
Of those sugar pushers, 72 percent of those households will give away two or even three) pieces of candy per trick-or-treater.
Let’s put this in simple terms: On Halloween night alone, the average child in your neighborhood may mindlessly scarf down between 5 to 50 teaspoons of sugar and hundreds of calories.
In short, Spooky Sugar Overload Season starts with Halloween.
Factor in all the sugar that most people will gobble up during Thanksgiving dinners, holiday parties, as well as Christmas or Chanukah vacations.
All this sugar gorging begs these questions:
Why has it simply become un-American NOT to hand out candies on Halloween?
Why is it outright weird NOT to give your neighbors’ kids sugar-filled treats, which will surely send them into Sugar Shock? (Think anxiety, difficulty concentrating, mood swings, temper tantrums, crankiness and much worse.)
Why is candy-giving expected even though just about everyone knows that too much sugar (candies) can lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes and other diseases, which, in turn, can kill you?
Thankfully, a small but growing number of us are urging parents to give out safe, fun toys instead.
Unfortunately, though, it’s far easier to find candies than it is to locate sweet, sugar-free toys such as glow-in-the-dark insects, spooky fingers, Halloween-themed stickers or pencils, rubber worms, creepy fingers, action figures, kazoos and whistles, baseball cards, plastic animals, spin tops, and party favors like engine whistles, key chains, pen, and stickers.
Furthermore, let’s face it, these cool Halloween options cost more than sugar-filled, or high fructose corn syrup-laden candies.
Right now, I urge you parents to take charge. This Halloween, just become more mindful.
Every time you dish out candies, think about just two things.
You are an “enabler” – as drug addicts are to other drug addicts. Your neighbors and you could be paving the way for neighborhood kids to crave candies. For that matter, you could be addicting or re-addicting their parents, too. (A number of coaching clients confessed to me that they stole their kids Halloween candies!)
You could be contributing to soaring rates of obesity and other diseases in your neighborhood.
Do you really want to have that on your conscience?
Instead, why don’t you find ways to help your children and your neighbors’ kids to observe Halloween in a safer, healthier way?
For instance, you could:
Offer your kid(s) a healthy meal with ample protein, fiber and fat before she or he cavorts around the neighborhood.
Give away one candy per trick-or-treater. (Don’t let kids grab a handful of sweets.)
Hand out small bottles of water. That way, you’ll help trick-or-treaters stay hydrated.
When your child or children come home from trick-or-treating, have fun together doing high-intensity play or dancing for at least 10 minutes.
Hug your kids and figure out one or two other ways to give them lasting sweetness.
About the Author:
Connie Bennett, CHHC, CPC, ACC, is a self-mocking former sugar addict and author of two bestselling books, Sugar Shock! and Beyond Sugar Shock.
Her first book, Sugar Shock! How Sweets and Simple Carbs Can Derail Your Life– and How You Can Get Back on Track, was praised by Dr. Mehmez Oz and many others.
Her latest book, Beyond Sugar Shock: The 6-Week Plan to Break Free of Your Sugar Addiction & Get Slimmer, Sexier & Sweeter, has been endorsed by numerous luminaries, including Wayne Dyer, Dr. Daniel Amen, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Bernie Siegel, Joe Vitale, Marci Shimoff, Kathy Smith, John Assaraf, Colette Baron-Reid, Janet Bray Atwood, Donna Gates, Alex Jamieson, and Dr. JJ Virgin.
Connie is also a certified health coach, certified life coach, EFT practitioner, widely published jouirnalist, columnist, and and essayist (AOL News, eDiets.com, The Los Angeles Times, www.SheKnows.com, etc.), as well as an in-demand speaker, entertaining TV and radio show guest (“CBS News Sunday Morning,” “Oprah & Friends Radio,” “The Howard Stern Show,” etc.).
In 1998, Connie was a tormented sugar-addicted journalist, who secretly “used” candies galore just to make all her deadlines. When she was bombarded by brain fog, heart palpitations, severe PMS and 41 other baffling ailments, Connie finally turned in deperation to a doctor, who ordered her to quit sweets. Much to her surprise, all her ailments went poof!, and the journalist was reborn, filled with determination to spread the sour news about sugar.
Now sugar-free (mostly) for 15 years, Connie — now known as The Sugar Liberator — had helped thousands of people worldwide to break free of sweets and discover that Life is Sweeter Naturally™.
Get free gifts at www.Connie-Bennett.com. Then discover if you’ve been brainwashed to become a sugar addict by taking The Sugar shock Quiz at www.SugarShockBlog.com.
It’s that spooky time of year again.
Are you hooked on cupcakes but want (and need) to get my book, Beyond Sugar Shock?
Follow the advice of my creative Facebook friend Natalie Rothman, who came up with an innovative way of dealing with those enticing cupcakes on the cover of my book.
Just paste a piece of pater cover those annoying (but pretty) cupcakes!
Thank you, Natalie, for this brilliant idea!
And thank you for sharing a photo with would-be readers of Beyond Sugar Shock about how you got rid of temptation.
Please forgive me, but your photo really cracked me up!
Now bear in mind that I’m not laughing at you — I’m cracking up at your ingenious way of dealing with the enticing cupcakes. Most sugar addicts — as I’ve discovered from working with you for almost a decade — are really sharp people!
It’s now time for an apology to all you sugar addicts out there.
Please, please forgive me if the cupcakes on the cover of my new book, Beyond Sugar Shock, are too enticing for you right now!
But bear in mind that at the end of our six-week adventure together, those cupcakes won’t bother you in the least if I do my job right as your Sugar Freedom Coach/guide and if you use the innovative tools you get in this program.
Why Are Cupcakes on the Cover of Beyond Sugar Shock? Am I Being Mean to You Readers?
How would you feel if your kids had a Twinkie or even had cookies for breakfast?
Well, that’s exactly what she or he — or maybe even you — may be doing most mornings.
Suffice it to say that millions of children are beginning their day going into Sugar Shock.
So found a scary new report on popular cereals, Sugar in Children’s Cereal, from the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit, non-partisan research organization dedicated to using the power of information to protect human health and the environment.
The Environmental Working Group arrived at its frightening sugar findings after studying 84 popular brands of cereal, many of them marketed directly to children, to see if they meet either the federal government’s proposed nutrition guidelines or the industry’s looser nutrition guidelines.
And the EWG found lots about sugar, sugar, sugar.
Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, which has nearly 56 percent sugar by weight, leads the list of the 10 worst children’s cereals, according to EWG’s analysis.
In fact, the EWG found, a one-cup serving of the brand contains more sugar than a Hostess Twinkie.
Meanwhile, one cup of any of the 44 other children’s cereals has more sugar than three Chips Ahoy! cookies.
Here’s EWG’s list of the 10 worst cereals.
10 Worst Children’s Cereals
Based on percent sugar by weight
1.) Kellogg’s Honey Smacks 55.6%
2.) Post Golden Crisp 51.9%
3.) Kellogg’s Froot Loops Marshmallow 48.3%
4.) Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s OOPS! All Berries 46.9%
5.) Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch Original 44.4%
6.) Quaker Oats Oh!s 44.4%
7.) Kellogg’s Smorz 43.3%
8.) Kellogg’s Apple Jacks 42.9%
9.) Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries 42.3%
10.) Kellogg’s Froot Loops Original 41.4%
Of course, this EWG report comes as no surprise to me, given that I often share information about sugar’s pervasiveness and its dangers, as I did in my first book, Sugar Shock.
So why should you care about your kids eating so much sugar for breakfast?
As the EWG points out, studies suggest that children who eat breakfasts that are high in sugar have more problems at school.
For instance, they become more frustrated and have a harder time working independently than kids who eat lower-sugar breakfasts, as the EWG noted. And by lunchtime, these kids who filled up on sugar for breakfast have less energy, are hungrier, show attention deficits and make more mistakes on their work.
Kudos to the Environmental Working Group for sharing this important news.
Click here to see the best and worst cereals, as discovered by the EWG.
Wondering what’s a good breakfast then? Well, for starters, why do your kids have to have cereal to start the day?
But if they do, make sure, as nutrition expert Marion Nestle, Ph.D., recommends that you pick:
Cereals with a short ingredient list
Cereals high in fiber.
Cereals with little or no added sugars (such as honey, molasses, fruit juice concentrate, brown sugar, corn sweetener, sucrose, lactose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup and malt syrup).
An easy breakfast for children would be a piece of fresh fruit (like an orange or apple), a cooked of steel cut oats (sprinkled with cinnamon), some plain milk (if they can handle dairy), and a hard boiled egg (prepared the night before).
Have you heard yet that my next book, Beyond Sugar Shock, is due out next year? Stay tuned for details.
As someone who has been seduced by candies galore — to the point of having my health comprised — and who now helps sugar addicts worldwide Break Free of their addiction, I found this New York Times article by Julia Moskin about candy and the Candy Professor quite compelling. How fascinating that this professor, Samira […]
I just had a touching, powerful coaching session with a new private client, whose Christian religion is important to her and whose sugar habit puts her “in the deepest funk” and “controls” her.
After some discussion about today being a somber occasion since it’s Good Friday, she decided that “Good Friday is the death of my bad [sugar] habit.”
Specifically, she plans to kick red licorice and other candies for Lent, while it is still happening.
“Jesus made a big sacrifice for me,” she told me. “If I’m able to kick the habit, what an honor it would be. He would be so happy.”
I just thought I’d share this with those of you who are religious and into sweets.
Would you, too, like help to kick your sugar addiction? If so, learn about my Break Free of Your Sugar Addiction Program.
FYI, if you become a new private or group coaching client through the month of April, you also will receive free admission to my upcoming Break of Your Sugar Addiction Program, which begins April 20. (So you’re getting a gift that is valued at $147 through April 5. On April 6, the price is $177.)
It would be my honor to help you. To work with me either privately or in groups, contact me to set up your complimentary strategy session.
I have every confidence in you that you can Break Free of Your Sugar Addiction. And, if you do, your life can improve in many ways, from weight loss to happier moods.
It’s Connie here to tell you that I’m VERY grateful to you, dear readers.
I really appreciate your support so that I can continue to serve you.
Now that it’s the holiday season, I feel that I want to tell you how grateful I am.
Grateful, as www.Dictionary.com tells us, means you’re “warmly Or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received.”
YOU, dear readers, are so important to me.
Because of YOU and 1) your willingness to learn, 2) your open-mindedness, 3) your desire to have a happier, healthier life and 4) your spreading the word about this Sugar Shock Blog, my book SUGAR SHOCK! and my coaching services, I can continue to help YOU and many more to break free of this health-harming, mood-dampening addiction to sugar, refined carbs, artificial sweeteners and other bad habits
(or what I call babits™).
So thank you, YOU magnificent creature, YOU.
I love you, and as “Think Big” author Michael Port puts it, “not in a weird way.”
YOU Special One, I’m also here to remind you to remember that YOU are a wonderful, special, dazzling person with so great qualities.
So for the holidays through the end of the year, I invite you to remember to treasure your glorious body, which has been here for you no matter what.
When was the last time you thanked your body for all it does for you?
Let me gently suggest that you think twice before putting junk foods and sugar-filled, calorie-packed drinks into your body this holiday season, OK?
Before you slip a sweet “treat” into your mouth or nosh on fake, junk foods (that are artificially sweetened or filled with dyes and other additives), why not ask yourself, “What does my wonderful body really want?”I do hope that this post inspires you to treat your body like the temple it is. Wishing you all a fabulous rest of the year!
Every year, many people become overly attached to candies and cookies, starting on Halloween. As we know, this holiday season, which kicks off on Halloween and continues through Christmas, Chanukah and other celebrations, can be a challenging time when it comes to eating right. During this season, which abounds with candy canes, gingerbread men, chocolate […]
Are you re planning on passing out sugar-filled candies for Halloween tomorrow night?
If so, you should know that every time you hand out candies, you’re tricking kids into sugar overload.
Halloween isn’t just one night. It paves the way for bad eating habits year-round.
Read more about this in our opinion piece in today’s Newark Star-Ledger.
Halloween can be a harrowing time for both kids and their parents, because on this holiday and the days or even weeks that follow, kids will often face major blood sugar highs and lows after pigging out on dozens of sugar-laden candies.
In other words, they’ll be hurled into sugar shock.
Let’s face it, no matter what kind of limits their parents may try to place on their children’s candy consumption, youngsters will often overdose on sweets, even if they have to do it in secret.
Unfortunately, that’s what Halloween means these days. It’s a nationally sanctioned “Sugar Overload Day.”
So how can you help your young trick-or-treaters not get wiped out, cranky, depressed, headachy or charged up from having too many candies?
The way to soften the blood-sugar-bouncing whammy and lessen sugar shock is to make sure that your children eat a healthy meal before they cavort aroundthe neighborhood trick-or-treating for candies.
For instance, before they head for the streets, give your children:
Can eating too much candy on a daily basis make you commit crimes?
If you’re planning on passing out candies to trick-or-treaters on Halloween, read this first.
Kids who eat candy and other sweets daily may be more likely to be arrested for violent crime as adults, according to a new British study, which you can read about on MSNBC and other organizations.
Curiously, this startling study was published soon before this widely accepted sugar-giving holiday, in the October issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry.
Researchers from Cardiff University in the United Kingdom, headed up by Simon Moore, Ph.D., a senior lecturer in the Violence and Society Research Group, looked at data from the British Cohort Study of more than 17,000 children born in 1970 in the U.K.
Studying the data of four decades, Dr. Moore and his colleagues found that 69 percent of those children who ate candies or chocolates daily at age 10, were later arrested for a violent offense by age 34, the AP reported. Of those who didn’t commit any crimes, 42 percent ate sweets daily.