Halloween means scary movies and the addictively delicious candies. Whether you’re looking to sport a skin tight, revealing costume or the classic, cutout ghost sheet, every college student needs to know the importance behind steering clear of certain candies. These 10 candies not only offer a million calories and sugar, but also destroy tooth enamel and contain cancer-causing dyes and additives more horrifying than any scary movie. And let’s face it, you don’t want to stuff yourself into a costume next Halloween, do you?
1. Candy Corn
Candy corn is addictive, and yet we really only eat it around Halloween. Maybe that’s for the best. Candy Corn contains extremely high amounts of sugar, about a gram in every piece, and Red 3 dye coats the candy giving the white, orange and yellow color. Red 3 falls under the carcinogen category, deeming the dye potentially cancerous and hazardous by the Environmental Working Group.
2. Now and Later
These taffy candies stick to your teeth so aggressively that they can cause severe tooth enamel decay. Do you think your Insta pics will still looks cute with a toothless-grin in your 20s? Doctor Martin Hogan, DDS, told the Inquisitr, “[Now and Laters and other taffy treats] bathe the teeth in continuous sugar.” But go ahead, keep eating them. Maybe next year you can dress as a toothless hillbilly without spending a dime.
3. Rainbow Twizzlers
While these delicious treats might have a pretty exterior, their ingredients include two cancer causing carcinogens, Red 40 and Yellow 6. Better stick to regular, traditional red Twizzlers because of the lack of dye used, and more importantly because they’re a low-calorie treat. “This is pretty disappointing considering I am a huge fan of the Rainbow Twizzlers,” said Penn State junior Kim King. “I guess I’ll just stick to classic red from now on.”
4. Sour Skittles
I wouldn’t suggest eating original Skittles instead, but Sour Skittles qualifies as a big no-no. Sour Skittles contain Red 40 and Yellow 6 as well as a pH of 2.2, aka very acidic. According to Dr. Chris Devlin, a local dentist in State College, PA, battery acid has a pH of 1.0 while candies such as Sour Skittles, Starbursts and Wonka Pixy Stix all have a pH balance much higher than 1.o. Dr. Devlin also noted that teeth start to decalcify at pH 4.0. Skip the Sour Skittles and a trip to the dentist.
What could possibly be so bad about chocolate-covered fruit? Sugary, dried fruit coated in even more sugary chocolate levels up to any other sticky candy. While this particular fruit based candy seems harmless, it still contains a frightening amount of saturated fat and 27 grams of sugar in a ¼-cup serving. Chocolate covered raisins don’t qualify as the the worst Halloween treat, but be sure to eat them in moderation as you would with any other candy. “I never used to feel bad about eating Raisinets because I figured chocolate covered fruit was fine,” said Laura Sutterlin Penn State sophomore. “Now that I think about it, this definitely could’ve been a factor in the freshman 15 I gained.”
6. Caramel Apple Lollipops
The word “apple” might make these suckers sound healthy, but don’t fool yourself. Sticky lollipops take longer to dissolve, meaning the sugar has more time to break down teeth enamel and cause cavities. And let’s face it, what’s scarier than the dentist? “My third grade teacher used to give these out as rewards on a weekly basis in elementary school,” said Ally Walsh a senior at Penn State. “Now I feel like those lollipops were more of a punishment,” said Walsh.
7. Necco Wafers
This “American classic” wafer candy offers nothing but powder and sugar. These wafers contain not one, not two, but three cancer causing dyes—Red 40, Red 3 and Yellow 6. These carcinogens have also been deemed a health concern by the Environmental Working Group. “I used to eat these things all the time when I was little,” said Penn State senior Bobby Dunn. “But I’m glad I grew out of that phase because that news is very scary and concerning.”
Penn State seniors, Natalie Landi and Sian Scott both asked, “They still make Dots?” Yes, they do. And they’re not good for you. Like lollipops and skittles, these chewy candies latch onto teeth and erode tooth enamel quicker than you can say “trick or treat.” They also contain Red 40, which can cause skin irritation, allergies and cancer in some cases.
These chocolate sweets are the worst of both worlds. Not only do they stick to teeth which inevitably causes damage and cavities, but they also contain synthetic dyes and manmade trans fats. And that’s not even the worst part. The chocolate coating on the outside isn’t even real chocolate. It’s “compound chocolate”—AKA a cheaper coating of chocolate.
10. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
Did you know Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups don’t actually contain real peanut butter? Instead, the chocolate cups fill up with synthetic peanut butter made up of loads of sugar and preservatives. But the biggest concern is that Halloween themed Reese’s are even worse than classic Reese’s cups. Standard Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are 87 calories a piece, but one Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkin has 170 calories. While you might try to convince yourself that peanut butter is a good source of protein, therefore Reese’s count as a healthy treat, do yourself a favor and make your own. “This is the biggest disappointment of all,” said Penn State senior Nick Kaiser. “Reese’s are the best, how could they deceive me like that?”