System News

Tuesday, October 30, 2018 - Roper St. Francis Healthcare nutritionist totals up Halloween candy calories

Walking through neighborhoods and scoring bucket loads of candy is a rite of passage for many children, but experts at Roper St. Francis Healthcare say kids could be at risk of packing on thousands of extra calories if they -- and their parents -- aren’t careful.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the nation’s youth obesity rate is nearly 19 percent, with nearly 14 million children in the U.S. affected.

Arrianna Johnson - Roper St. Francis Healthcare Clinical Nutrition Director

“Parents need to be involved to make sure kids responsibly enjoy their Halloween treats,” said Roper St. Francis Healthcare Clinical Nutrition Director Arrianna Johnson. “If a child were to eat just eight of the ‘fun size’ candies, they would be adding an extra 600 calories to a typical intake. Spread that out several days and kids or adults could be taking in several thousand extra calories.”

All this candy adds up to 600 extra calories

  • Two fun size packs of Skittles
  • One fun size Butterfinger
  • Two snack-size peanut butter cups
  • One blow pop
  • Eight gummy bears
  • One fun size Starburst pack (two pieces)

Roper St. Francis Halloween nutrition tips

  • Don’t go on an empty stomach. Eat a balanced dinner before hitting the Halloween trail.
  • Skip a few houses in your neighborhood to lighten the load.
  • Limit kids’ access to the candy bucket – out of sight, out of mind.
  • Consider giving out non-candy items. Stickers and bubbles are two examples.
  • Cut back on other sugary items and soda during Halloween to balance things out.

The average energy requirement for children age 4 to 8 years is around 1500 calories. For children 9 to 11 years the average daily requirement is around 1800 calories.

In case you’re curious, Arrianna has a three-year old son and rationed Halloween candy so well, she still has some left over from last year.

About Roper St. Francis Healthcare

Roper St. Francis cares for more Lowcountry families than any other healthcare provider in our area. As Charleston’s only private, not-for-profit hospital system, our mission is simple:Healing all people with compassion, faith and excellence.

Throughout our entire 150 year history, people have trusted the name Roper St. Francis. Anchored by Roper Hospital, Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital and Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital, our 671-bed health system includes more than 110 facilities and doctors' offices conveniently located throughout our region. Our fourth flagship hospital, Roper St. Francis Berkeley Hospital, is under construction and will open in summer 2019 in Berkeley County.


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