Avoid Scary Calorie Counts This Halloween

SUNDAY, Oct. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Waiting until the last minute to buy Halloween candy is a good way to stick to a healthy diet and cut extra calories, an expert suggests, because if the candy isn't sitting around the house, you won't be tempted to eat it.

And those little bags of candy add up to extra pounds. For example, a 0.75-ounce "fun-size" bag of M&M's contains 100 calories and 3.3 grams of fat, according to a news release from EmblemHealth.

Dr. William Gillespie, a pediatrician and EmblemHealth's Chief Medical Officer, said taking the focus off candy altogether and concentrating on other Halloween activities -- such as telling spooky stories and making crafts or costumes -- is another way to encourage healthy choices.

Gillespie offered several other tips to ensure people of all ages enjoy a healthy Halloween, including:

  • Keep candy out of sight. Once kids enjoy a night of trick-or-treating, put their remaining candy away so they will be less likely to think about it.

  • Toss extra candy. Another way to limit the amount of candy kids eat is to allow them to choose a few of their favorites from their Halloween bag and get rid of the rest.

  • Don't be too restrictive. If candy becomes a "forbidden" treat, it may be even more tempting.

  • Eat before trick-or-treating. If kids fill up with a healthy meal or snack before they head out on Halloween, they may eat less candy.

  • Don't buy tempting candy. Adults who buy Halloween candy for their home or office should buy treats they don't actually like so they are less tempted to eat it.

  • Don't supersize. Buying miniature treats instead of candy that is snack size can help cut extra calories.

Here are a few examples of how choosing smaller candy can make a big difference:

  • A mini 3 Musketeers bar has 24 calories, while the fun-size version has 70 calories.

  • A mini Butterfinger has 45 calories, while the fun-size version has 100 calories.

  • A mini Hershey's Milk Chocolate bar has 42 calories, while the fun-size version has 95 calories.

  • A mini Kit Kat has 42 calories, while the fun-size version has 80 calories.

  • A mini Snickers has 45 calories, while the fun-size version has 95 calories.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides more Halloween health and safety tips.

SOURCE: EmblemHealth, Inc., news release, Oct. 8, 2012

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