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Celebrating Halloween Without Candy


Halloween is a holiday that children of all ages  anticipate eagerly.  Not only do children have the opportunity to dress up in their favorite costumes, but also have the opportunity to go trick-or-treating from door to door with the goal of filling their bags full of candy and other treats, as well.  Those bags full of candy, however, come with a price: tooth decay.  Would children still enjoy Halloween if the holiday was not candy focused?  A recent questionnaire conducted by the American Dental Association (ADA) and PopCap Games targeted those trick-or-treating children ages 5 to 13 years and asked that very question.

Researchers found that two-thirds of those children surveyed agreed they eat too much candy during Halloween, with 89 percent reporting they would still like the holiday if it was not candy focused, but focused towards other types of fun activities.  A vast majority of the children questioned, 93 percent, said they would prefer to receive a video game instead of candy while trick-or-treating.  Three-fourths of the children responding to the questionnaire agreed with the statement “too much candy is bad for me”, and 67 percent reported they eat too much candy around Halloween. 

Last month, the “Stop Zombie Mouth” campaign was announced, a campaign which provides dentists, parents and other adults with trading cards and coupons for a free copy of PopCap’s family friendly video game, Plants vs. Zombies.  Many ADA member dentists ordered Stop Zombie Mouth kits and decorated their offices and provided their patients with free collectible trading cards and game vouchers to encourage a healthier Halloween.  Perhaps with this campaign as an example, other companies and organizations will jump on board and begin offering programs  such as the “Stop Zombie Mouth”, which will contribute to changing Halloween from a candy focused holiday to a more nutritious, fun filled holiday instead.

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Dr. Mark Gasbara
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    Mark J. Gasbara D.D.S.

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