OCT 27, 2016 02:51 PM PDT

What is the Lethal Dose of Halloween Candy?

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Halloween is around the corner, and for many kids (and adults), it's all about the candy loot. And because the treats are conveniently packaged into "fun-size," it's hard to judge just how much candy we're actually consuming.

As any doctor will testify, too much of anything can be a bad thing, especially for sugar. Too much of sugar over time has been linked to obesity, diabetes, and even cancer. But what about consuming too much sugar all at once - how much sugar would it take to become deadly?

In answering this question, scientists turned to the lethal dose (LD50) of sucrose - this is the quantity of sucrose per kilogram that's shown to kill half of the tested animal population. And since we can't test this on people, scientists then approximate what the lethal dose would be for humans.

Using the average weight of an American, it's estimated that the lethal dose would be about 2,440 grams or 5.4 pounds of sugar. This roughly translates into 262 pieces of average-sized candy, or around 1,627 pieces of candy corn. But considering the amount of candy at our disposal, this number doesn't seem so far-fetched, does it?
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
SEP 09, 2018
Videos
SEP 09, 2018
Mass elephant poaching in Botswana
Ninety dead elephants have been found in Botswana recently, most large bulls whose tusks have been removed. Botswana has historically had a zero-tolerance...
SEP 10, 2018
Videos
SEP 10, 2018
The Difference Between Marijuana and Hemp
What's the difference between Marijuana and Hemp? Watch the video below to find out exactly how they differ. Both hemp and marijuana belong to the same...
SEP 11, 2018
Videos
SEP 11, 2018
Eat Mediterranean Food and Live Longer?
In southern European countries, the "Mediterranean Diet" is widespread and lauded as a healthy way to eat. It’s caught on all over the worl...
SEP 27, 2018
Videos
SEP 27, 2018
Why haven't Tesla's solar roofs taken off yet?
In October of 2016, Tesla came out with prototypes of solar roof panels that were meant to revolutionize the way we think about producing energy for our ho...
OCT 14, 2018
Plants & Animals
OCT 14, 2018
Here's How Hurricanes Impact Marine Wildlife
We’re not the only ones impacted by the hazards of powerful hurricanes; so too are the vast hierarchies of marine wildlife that reside in the ocean....
OCT 14, 2018
Videos
OCT 14, 2018
An Ancient Genetic Element can Help Fight Cancer
Researchers have been trying a variety of ways to boost the immune system we all have so it's able to fight off cancer....
Loading Comments...