COLUMBIA, S.C. — We have officially entered the candy and food part of the year.  You know what's more terrifying than those haunted houses and ghosts? The amount of sugar everyone devours on Halloween!

How much candy do kids eat on Halloween?

According to The National Retail Federation, Americans are expected spend $9 billion on Halloween and $2.6 billion includes candy. That equals to a lot of sugar.

There are not many detailed Halloween candy based scientific studies available, but industry reports suggest the average kid can consume about three cups of sugar, which equals out to about 675 grams of sugar or 3500 to 7000 calories of candy on Halloween night.

How much sugar do doctors recommend?

However, the American Heart Association says kids between the ages of two to 18 should have less than 25 grams of sugar or 6 teaspoons of added sugar a day for a healthy life and heart.   If one teaspoon equals 4 grams of sugar the reality, kids are taking in 27 times more sugar than doctors recommend on this holiday. On top of it, they need to play for two days straight to burn off the calories in the average amount of candy they enjoyed on one Halloween night.

That may sound scary, even for Halloween, but the consensus among some registered dietitians, nutritionists and doctors, Halloween is a fun holiday to celebrate, and a few days of excess sugar won’t make or break your long-term health unless you suffer from a serious medical condition.

A much larger problem is the trend of daily sugar consumption in the United States.  According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Americans are eating and drinking too much added sugars which can lead to health problems like weight gain and obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.  The leading sources of added sugars in the United States diet are sugary drinks, juices, and sodas and processed food. The result, one in three adults have pre-diabetes which means they already have a problem metabolizing sugar.

 Even though our bodies are not designed to metabolize large amounts of sugar and any added sugar is too much sugar health experts say, healthy people can enjoy most treats in moderation.

A recent Monmouth University poll shows overall Americans prefer chocolate over candy corn. According to Dietitians and Nutritionists this is the better choice.  Some weighed in and recommend candy with a little bit of fat and protein like Snickers or Reese’s peanut butter cups since they will slow down how quickly the sugar rushes into the bloodstream.  Another bonus, chocolate likely has less food dyes and additives when compared to candy like sour patch kids or Skittles.

So, trick or treat and have fun! But you may also want to limit the amount of candy you bring home this way it won’t temp you and you don't have candy hiding on the cupboard and cabinets waiting to scare you for the next month!

For more information about your sugar intake just click here