The Jaw-Dropping Amount Of Sugar Most Kids Eat On Halloween

While there are certainly lots of fun things to enjoy about Halloween — the creative costumes, the spooky decorations — there's no doubt that one thing is the clear star of the show: candy. On Halloween night, many eager children around the country get dressed up in their finest costumes to go around their towns trick-or-treating, gathering their favorite sweet snacks and treats from their obliging neighbors and friends.

Yet, it's not just kids getting in on the fun. According to Insider, over 160 million Americans buy Halloween candy annually, spending nearly $2.6 billion. That comes out to an average of almost 600 million pounds of Halloween candy purchased by Americans each year, via Gourmet Gift Baskets. While some of that candy is certainly for trick-or-treaters, it is probably safe to assume a few pieces of sweets have probably ended up in the mouths of some moms and dads on the big night. Those numbers don't even account for the number of bags of candy that thrifty shoppers pick up the day after the holiday, when most stores heavily discount their Halloween candy to make room for other wares. While we know there is plenty of sweet stuff floating around before and after Halloween, exactly how much sugar is consumed on the holiday might still come as something of a surprise.

Three cups of sugar on Halloween

In an average Halloween haul, a child can expect to collect around 3,500 and 7,000 calories worth of candy, as Donna Arnett, head of the department of epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health, estimates, via United Press International. That is certainly an eye-popping number of calories, but luckily, most children do not eat their entire haul in one night.

However, most kids still consume a good amount of their Halloween candy after trick-or-treating, once they finally get to dig into their stash of sweets. According to Insider, most kids consume about 3 cups (384 grams) of sugar on Halloween, which is about 16 times over the American Heart Association's maximum daily recommendation of 25 grams. While that high number might seem a little worrisome, nutritionists don't recommend becoming too concerned with pushing "health" on your kids on Halloween. "People who celebrate eating candy rather than thinking of it as a guilty pleasure are less likely to have body image issues or worry about overdoing it," registered nutritionist Amanda Frankeny explained to HuffPost. While three cups certainly is a lot of sugar, Halloween only comes once a year. It may not be a bad thing to simply let your little ones enjoy the special holiday, and all the sweet treats that come along with it.