Having a piece of candy seems like a sweet treat, but it could be one that comes back to add some pounds to the scale reading every day. Chocolate, sugar candies, and other treats are widely consumed in the US and around the world. Halloween might be a holiday that focuses on candy consumption, but we are all eating candy every day.
The average American eats almost 25 pounds of candy every year. About 50% of that candy comes from the 51 chocolate bars that Americans eat every year.
Why report on American statistics? Because the United States is the largest consumer of candy in the world today. Americans spend an average of $8 billion every year on treats. That fact might not help waistlines, but it does create a number of jobs that support the basic needs of a household.
- 1,177 U.S. manufacturing establishments produced chocolate and cocoa products in 2009.
- More than 34,000 people are employed in the United States because of the candy industry.
- Mars Inc. products are the #1 and #2 best selling candy products in the world today: M&Ms and Snickers bars.
- 4%. That’s the percentage of candy consumption that occurs in the US on the day of Halloween.
- 1 in 4 American adults will choose to have at least one piece of candy every day of the week.
- Kids eat 4 hard and chewy candies for every one eaten by adults, as adults prefer to eat chocolate candies above anything else.
- The average amount of calories in a fun-sized candy bar: 60-100.
- It only takes 5 fun-sized candy bars and no other dietary adjustments for someone to gain 1 pound of weight per week.
- The most popular candy for search engines: candy corn, which is 10% of all candy-related searches.
- 65% of the American candy brands have been around for more than five decades.
As with many things, the problem isn’t the candy. The problem is that people are eating candy in excess. It makes sense to eat more candy on Halloween with trick-or-treating being so fun. 9 out of 10 American households consider their neighborhood safe for going door-to-door, so lots of candy is obtained and eaten. The fact candy is eaten every day by 1 out of 4 people on a typical day shows that candy consumption isn’t a holiday experience or an occasional treat. It’s an every day occurrence and that could be contributing to the expanding waistlines of Americans.
Should Chocolate Be Your #1 Candy Option?
- Several medical studies have shown that eating chocolate in moderation could actually prolong a person’s life by reducing the risk of blood clots forming and it’s ability to fight bad cholesterol.
- The average American will eat chocolate for about 50% of their annual candy intake.
- A 1 ounce bar of milk chocolate contains only 5-6mg of caffeine.
- If you can’t consume chocolate today, then freeze it. The candy will last up to 6 months in the freezer.
- The shelf life of a chocolate bar is up to 1 year.
- U.S. chocolate manufacturers use 3.5 million pounds of whole milk every day to make chocolate.
The Swiss eat almost all of their candy as chocolate. They average about 21 pounds per year of consumption, coming in just under the Americans for total candy consumption and doubling how much chocolate Americans eat. This candy is craved because it may provide health benefits, but as with any sugary confection, there can be consequences to eating so much chocolate. Eating a 6 ounce chocolate bar will give someone the same amount of caffeine that is in the average can of soda AND more calories. Having it as a treat is one thing. Eating chocolate every day in more than small amounts, however, could take a serious toll on one’s health.
Should Everyone Be Eating Fewer Sugars?
- Men consume an average 12.7% of their calories from added sugars, compared with 13.2% for women.
- Men in the lowest income brackets consumed 14% of their calories from sugar. Men in the highest income brackets consumed 11% of their calories from sugar.
- Foods contributed 67% of calories from added sugars.
- Approximately 13% of adults’ total caloric intakes came from added sugars between 2005 and 2010.
- The average American consumes anywhere between 150 to 170 pounds of refined sugars in 12 months. A century ago, the average American consumed just 4 pounds of sugar per year.
- The consumption of 20 teaspoons of sugar per day can reduce immune system functioning by up to 50%.
- If America’s obesity trend continues at its current pace, all 50 states could have obesity rates above 44% by 2030.
- 71.4% of U.S. adults get more than the recommended 10% of their daily calories from added sugars in foods and drinks.
- There is a direct connection between cardiovascular disease and sugar consumption.
Candy consumption is just one avenue of eating sugar that many people don’t think about. Foods and beverages are laden in sugar. Drinking just one soda during the day will contribute 50% of the sugars that are needed to suppress immune system functioning. If you find that you are getting sick more than the average person is during the year and you can’t find any reason why, then sugar might just be the culprit. A 12 ounce can of soda could have 12 teaspoons of sugar in it. Combine that with the large amounts of candy that are consumed and sugar could be poisoning you right now.
How Much Candy Is Going To Be Purchased?
- The United States candy market is expected to reach $35 billion by 2016.
- 51% of overall candy consumers purchase seasonal or holiday candy. The average household will spend $44 just to purchase Halloween candy.
- Americans buy over 120 million pounds of candy for Easter.
- 90% of Americans say that they will stock up on candy when a holiday draws near.
- 70% of Americans say that the giving of chocolate is an appropriate way to celebrate a holiday.
- American men say they’d rather receive chocolates than flowers on Valentine’s Day.
- More than 16 billion jelly beans are made to celebrate Easter.
- 25% of the candy industry’s revenues comes from Halloween related sales.
- 150 million. That’s the number of chocolate Santas that are sold every year.
- 76% of households serve Hershey’s Kisses at Halloween.
- The percentage of households that purchase candy so that they can entertain during the holidays: 28%.
3 out of 4 households puts the candy that they purchase in sight at home. This usually means putting the candy into a bowl so that it can be freely grabbed. Although this seems innocent enough, it is a contributing factor to the amount of candy and sugar that is consumed every day. If something is freely available, then it will be freely eaten. How many times do people think that they’ll eat just one candy? That one candy, every day, can lead to a 3-4 pound weight increase in just 1 month. Is it any wonder why so many people are considered to be overweight today?
Is Candy Something That Should Be Terrifying?
- The average trick-or-treater is going to receive 11,000 calories worth of candy as a reward for their efforts.
- Many candies have more than 15 ingredients in them, with many of them being different types of sugars.
- Many candies contain castoreum as a natural flavor, which is a substance that comes from the excretions of a beaver’s rear end.
- 10% of the sugar in the average person’s diet comes from candy, but only 2% of the fat calories that are consumed.
- From a health standpoint, it’s actually better to eat more candy at once than spread it out during the day because the added saliva cancels out the acids that can ruin teeth.
- Cacao beans contain around 1.2% theobromine by weight, which is poisonous to humans. It’s also why dogs aren’t supposed to eat chocolate products. In humans, the elderly are primarily affected by theobromine poisoning.
Candy by itself shouldn’t be terrifying. Eating it in an uncontrolled manner is what should be terrifying. Some candies, such as a butterscotch disk, only have about 20 calories to them. It is true that over the years candy consumption has been blamed for everything from polio to tooth decay. There are more sugars in juices and sodas. It even used to be advertised as a health product – Tootsie Rolls were once advertised as fatigue beaters. Be smart with candy consumption and it isn’t going to be a bad thing. Eat 11,000 calories of Halloween candy and you just might find some health issues coming your way.