Millions of children are gearing up to go trick-or-treating on Halloween, and for them, this is the fun part of the holiday. For others, horror movies, haunted houses and creepy costumes offer that element of fear to thrill seekers.

But what if the trick or treating is really the aspect we should fear? We all know that sugar and corn syrup can be detrimental to our health, but take a look at the following 6 reasons you should be afraid of your child ingesting all that halloween candy:

A European-based study released this year links snacking habits that include sweet and fatty treats to colon cancer.  Studies from Johns Hopkins Medical School support the fact that people who avoid sweet and fatty snacks and stick to eating fruits, vegetables, nuts and other healthy foods had a lower risk of developing cancer.
Fruit sugar, or natural fructose, is now added to many processed foods, including candy, soda and fruit juices. The bad news is it can be linked to serious modern epidemics such as cancers, heart disease, hypertension, kidney damage and some forms of dementia. People who drink a large amount of fruit juice have an increased risk of rectal cancer, according to research published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association in 2011.
Want pretty-looking food? Don’t turn to artificial coloring, as the dyes often used to make foods more appealing can carry toxins such as mercury, and may contribute to behavioral problems such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and allergy-like reactions. The most popular artificial coloring is Red #40 (Allura Red: recognized in 1990 by the Food and Drug Administration as causing immune system problems and tumors in animals) and Yellow #5 (Tartrazine), often found in candies. Visit for a list of dyes and their impact on health.
If it’s not natural flavor, then what exactly is “artificial flavoring” and what is its danger to your health? Plenty. What is the difference between “natural” and “artificial” flavoring? The source, that’s what. Natural flavors are derived from anything that can be consumed, while artificial flavorings are created in a lab from substances such as petroleum!

Studies have shown that artificial flavorings can cause chest pain, fatigue, nervous system depression, allergies and headaches. Disturbingly enough, these flavorings are everywhere in processed foods. Look out for caramel flavoring, which is known to cause vitamin B6 deficiency, genetic defects and cancer, while saccharin can cause toxic reactions and has been linked to bladder cancer.

Genetically engineered ingredients (GMO) in candy can be risky for children. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine is urging all doctors to encourage their patients to avoid diets using GMO foods, so why consume candy laden with them? Halloween candy ingredients that have been genetically modified and are used in candy include sugar beets, high fructose corn syrup, corn starch, soy lecithin, soybean oil, modified food starch, fructose, dextrose, glucose, cottonseed oil, canola oil, according to


Dr. Dennis Godby, ND, who practices at the Diabetes Naturopath Center in Sacramento, Calif. Said he finds Halloween to be a scary prospect nowadays.

Unhealthy oils used in candy and other foods can be robbing you of your health. Which oils? Partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, for one, which can be found in thousands of commercially produced foods such as chips, canned goods and candy, is made from genetically modified crops.

Cotton, remember, is not a food item, so it is not grown with consumption in mind, but instead is heavily doused with pesticides that stay with the plant. To say it can cause mild inflammation is an understatement, and the chemicals within its tissue have been linked to certain forms of cancer. It also raises cholesterol levels in the blood, which increases the risk of stroke and heart disease, according to the American Heart Association.

Dr. Dennis Godby, ND, who practices at the Diabetes Naturopath Center in Sacramento, Calif. Said he finds Halloween to be a scary prospect nowadays.

“I thank God my kids are not children anymore … for me Halloween is a disaster,” Dr. Godby said. “Decades ago when we went trick or treating, there weren’t GMOs.”

Dr. Godby said he sees problems in his patients later in life that stem from the unhealthy ingredients they are eating. He worries about the children, especially.

“There are so many problems with sugar, we take in 15 times as much sugar as we should, and that doesn’t take into account the dyes and GMO and oils that have changed so many things to something not natural,” he said, adding that instead of giving out candy this year and being part of the problem, perhaps being part of the solution would be a good idea. “Why not buy alternative things to give out, or once you get your gathering of candy pick out the best, or make Halloween the only day you allow candy to minimize the damage.”

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