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Halloween Candy Can Kill, Say Scientists

Tim Boyer's picture
Too much candy eaten all at once can kill

Halloween is over at last, but not what’s in those bags of candy your child brought home last night. While parents may be tempted to allow a child to overindulge thinking that the worst that can happen is a sore tummy that might teach him or her a lesson, scientists say that eating too much Halloween candy all at once can actually kill a child.


According to a recent ABC News report, parents need to know that eating too much candy after trick-or-treating this Halloween can result in not only an excessive amount of added calories, a sore stomach, vomiting, an increased risk of developing diabetes and a range of other sugar-powered ailments, but that in high enough doses in short enough time can also lead to death.

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This risk of death has to do with what the American Chemical Society refers to as “hypothetical death by gluttony,” using a measurement standard called LD 50,which stands for the lethal dose of whatever is being tested on subjects that would kill off 50 percent of those subjects. In other words, it helps estimate how much of anything is toxic to a person of a given weight—in this case, candy.

Here’s a video made by the American Chemical Society that explains candy poisoning:

How Much Candy Would Kill You?

How Much Candy is Fatal?

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While many may scoff that any concerns of a child or an adult eating enough candy to kill is simply ridiculous, they need to think again and cruise around YouTube videos that show numerous individuals performing consumption dares like with eating tablespoons of cinnamon powder or trying to see how many ghost peppers they can swallow before stopping. People on the internet will do the absurd out of ignorance or just because some friends talked them into doing it.

The Candy Numbers

For a 180-pound person, 1,627 candy corns or 262 pieces of fun-size candy bars are estimated to contain enough sugar to be fatal.

To estimate how many fun-size candy bars and candy corn pieces would be toxic for you, plug in your weight in the formulas below provided by the American Chemical Society:



For more about the health risks of eating sugar, here’s an article on how many sodas does it take to make a person a diabetic.

Reference: ABC News “Science Says This Much Halloween Candy Could Kill You

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