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
NOV 11, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 11, 2019
All Squirrels Enjoy Nuts, and Some Shamelessly Steal Them
It’s no secret that squirrels enjoy eating nuts, but a lesser known fact is that many of these cunning rodents also enjoy the thrill and easy reward...
NOV 11, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 11, 2019
These Hippos Have Found a Naturally Existing Spa
Hippos are large and captivating creatures; in fact, they can be so hazardous that researchers keep a safe distance, deploying spy cameras in their place t...
NOV 11, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 11, 2019
Catastrophic Ancient Events Might Have Forever Changed Life-friendly Venus
There is plenty of evidence suggesting that Venus had a long history of being a habitable planet due to its abundance of water, plate tectonics, and amicab...
NOV 11, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 11, 2019
Outlandish Ideas to Fight Climate Change: How Credible are They?
Boosting investment in renewable energy and reducing the use of fossil fuel are the two commonly acceptable measures to combat climate change. However, sci...
NOV 11, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 11, 2019
NASA Unveils New Space Suits for the Artemis Program
NASA’s Artemis program promises to revolutionize deep space travel in ways that many never thought imaginable. One of the most significant things Art...
NOV 11, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 11, 2019
Radioactive Spill? Self-propelled Microbots to the Rescue
Scientists have been looking for an effective method to clean up radioactive elements in industrial wastewater and accidental spill, to support and boost t...
Loading Comments...