It's that spooky time of year again.
Not because of neighborhood kids masquerading as ghosts, goblins and ghouls.
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:
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™.