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  • Writer's pictureLisa Magnuson

Trick or Treat? How much is that piece of candy really worth?

Halloween is the unofficial kick off to a generally unhealthy few months of holiday festivities involving overindulgence in food and drinks. Before we all "fall off the health wagon" for the next two months lets try to put into perspective what all that "fun" can cost us.

I'm not trying to ruin Halloween (COVID is doing a great job at that) or take all the fun out of eating copious amounts of candy. I simply want to point out how many calories you consume when you eat the "fun" size bars of goodness over the next week.

Let's say you eat

  • 2 fun size Snickers bars

  • 1 fun size Peanut M&M's (approx 8 pieces)

  • 4 Starburst squares

What does that equate to in calorie intake?

This doesn't seem like that much candy especially on Halloween but I wanted to err on the conservative side to show how little candy it actually takes to make a meal worth of calories.

  • 2 fun size Snickers bars (74 cal each/8 g sugar) = 148 cal / 16g sugar

  • 1 package fun size Peanut M&M's = 90 cal / 9g sugar

  • 4 Starburst squares (20 cal each/4 g sugar/each) = 80 cal / 16g sugar

Grand total of 318 cal / 41 g of sugar

That is equivalent to a small meal or a large snack worth of calories AND (here is the alarming thing), 41g of sugar equals 10 teaspoons of sugar!!!! Could you imagine dumping 10 teaspoons of sugar in a cup of coffee? Yuck.

So now just for fun let's figure out what you would have to do as far as exercise/activity to burn off those 318 calories.


* Individual caloric burn rate is determined by age, weight, gender, and other factors so these are just rough estimates for the purpose of this article.

It would take a 50 year old woman weighing 140 pounds

  • 90 minutes of stationary biking

  • 90 minutes of fast walking

  • 32 minutes of running (10 min mile pace)

  • 90 min of moderate swimming

  • 35 min of jumping rope

She would have to do anyone one of those activities to burn off 318 calories

It would take a 50 year old man weighing 180 pounds

  • 80 minutes of stationary biking

  • 75 minutes of fast walking

  • 25 minutes of running (10 min mile pace)

  • 75 min of moderate swimming

  • 30 min of jumping rope

He would have to do anyone one of those activities to burn off 318 calories

So just remember when you go to reach for that 5th piece of candy on Saturday to ask yourself, how much is this worth to me? Not to mention what all that sugar does to your blood glucose levels and dental health. Enjoy the holiday but be mindful of what you put into your body while you celebrate.

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