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October 10, 2013 | 3 minute read

Don’t Get Tricked By Fun-Sized Halloween Treats

How Long Do You Need to Trick or Treat
to Burn Off That Candy Bar?

See the AICR Video: What Do Dietitians Hand Out For Halloween?

WASHINGTON, DC — Every year Americans purchase nearly 600 million pounds of candy for Halloween, weighing down our kids’ trick or treat bags with billions of extra calories. And all those extra treats can easily become excess body fat, which is a major risk factor for seven of the most common cancers, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR).

“This time of year, it’s so easy for kids (and parents!) to overindulge in these sugary, calorie-packed treats,” says AICR’s Associate Director of Nutrition Programs, Alice Bender MS, RDN. “If you can limit your over indulgence to one night a year and ramp up your physical activity, you can avoid weight gain.”

And collecting those treats on Halloween does require a little work. Millions of American kids and their parents will spend the evening of October 31st tromping from house to house. That physical activity can help burn off at least some of the caloric wallop Halloween candies deliver.

But given that most fun-sized Halloween candy doesn’t come with nutrition labels, it can be hard to know which treats are more calorie-dense than others. So how much walking do you really need to do to burn off just one fun-sized candy bar?

AICR breaks down some of the best-selling holiday candies and shows just how long it would take for a person weighing 150 pounds to schlep through their neighborhood at a moderate pace (3 miles/hour) and burn off a single serving.

The Rankings

  • Reese’s Pumpkin
    • Serving: 1 pumpkin
    • Calories: 170

At 170 calories per candy (more than almost any other branded candy bar), you’ll have to put in some effort to keep these decadent pumpkins from ending up on your waistline.

You’ll have to pound the pavement for 42 minutes to burn off just one of these calorie-dense treats.

  • Candy Corn
    • Serving: 19 pieces
    • Calories: 140

Candy corn is a staple of the season and one serving – 19 pieces kernels – weigh in around 140 calories. That’s about 7 calories per candy.

It’ll take you 35 minutes to burn off a single-serving handful of candy corn.

  • Marshmallow Ghosts
    • Serving: 3 ghosts
    • Calories: 110

Like their spring counterpart, the peep, these marshmallow sweets are mostly sugar. A serving of 3 clocks in at 110 calories.

It’ll take you 28 minutes of brisk walking to burn off these sugary bits of fluff.

  • Kit Kat
    • Serving: 1 fun size bar
    • Calories: 70

A fun-size Kit-Kat has about 70 calories and less sugar than the mallows.

For each one of these you sneak from your kid’s bag, add another 18 minutes to your walk.

  • Tootsie Roll
    • Serving: 3 pieces
    • Calories: 70

Love them or hate them, Tootsie Rolls have been found in candy buckets for generations. A serving of three weighs in at 70 calories.

It’ll take you 17 minutes of walking to burn them off.

  • 3 Musketeers
    • Serving: 1 fun size bar
    • Calories: 63

One of the lowest calories per serving, this candy bar will satisfy your sweet tooth without adding too many extra calories.

You can burn that bar off in just 16 minutes.

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