The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Life!

October 3, 2012

Please Do Not (Over)Feed The Boos

We’re facing trick-or-treat season here in one of the most overweight states in America, a country battered and deep-fried in a serious epidemic. There’s a greater than 30 percent obesity rate for the West Virginia population. Misery loves company from a national perspective when it comes to oversized youth — holding at 15 percent in overweight high school students for the Mountain State, among a combined national average of 13 percent (for students with a BMI greater than or equal to the 95th percentile, according to 2011 Centers for Disease Control data).

All of which beg the question: Is there any reason we should still give out candy for Halloween? At least those who feel the conviction to try and promote a healthy lifestyle might consider a few healthy alternatives.

Before entirely deboarding the good ship lollipop, remember the fun you had assuming another identity for a night, becoming the hero you always admired or adopting a personality you weren’t brave enough to try in broad daylight. You don’t have to take to handing out pistachios to travel the nutritional highroad.

 Average miniaturized Halloween versions of candy bars are at least 100 calories per serving less than their full-sized parents. Snickers minis, for instance, are 170 calories for four squares, versus 271 calories in a full-sized bar. And who says anyone has to have a full four squares? A conscientious eater could, in theory, enjoy a single Snickers snack for just under 50 calories. One could even make the argument that there are healthy peanuts swimming somewhere in the ocean of nougatty, caramel goodness.

Those forced by conscience into straddling the fence between hosting an all-out Wonka-fest and getting toilet-papered for going treatless could consider the best of the worst. Raisinettes, a candy standard, are sugary, but mostly from the raisins. Peanut M&Ms are generally accepted among the healthy set as at least more nutritionally dense than their solid chocolate siblings, and a definite go-to when your only option for lunch is the office vending machine. Dark chocolate versions of any candy are usually more healthy than their milk chocolate counterparts, with less sugar and a higher level of antioxidants.

When parting from among the popular, avoid the charlatanism of “fat free”. It’s usually added sugar making up for all the fat-cutting. Nutritionally flat though they may be, Twizzlers are guilty of playing the fat-free card, but they’re still this old girl’s weakness. Four of the snack-sized versions have only 120 calories (though mostly carbs). Still, on a good night, I can self-restrain to stealing just one from my kids’ bounty for 30 calories of artificial fruit-flavored satisfaction and a little guilt-free energy boost. In fact, I’d be disappointed if everyone read this article and boycotted candy-giving altogether. Sheesh, people! Lighten up!

If you’re going to just say no to feeding Spiderman, channel all that social responsibility into doing more. Volunteer to help a local church or organization with their Fall Festival efforts or Tailgate Halloweens. Treat the neighborhood kids to a community Halloween party, do a walk-through Haunted Garage with the help of a few neighbors or plan to perspire through a haunted trail or cornmaze with your own goblins.

But for those zombies who, in spite of the unholy and unhealthy tags stamped against their favorite fall activity, still press on furred and frilled against a waning gibbous moon, couldn’t you at least reward them for the trek? Find NO or LOW CALORIE giveaways like these and keep them by the door. That way, you won’t be among the dark, unwelcoming houses  every kid hates where, not knowing what to do, someone refused to do anything at all.

— lshrewsberry@register-herald.com

Text Only
Life!
  • Stories give us kinship with strangers

    Editor’s note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published April 10, 2010.
     
    My dad was a coal miner. By the time I came along, he was working above ground as a tipple foreman.

    April 19, 2014

  • momrun Just do it W.Va.!

    “Missy’s here — we’re not going to win. Missy’s here…”
    Learning she was a perceived threat from two women whispering at the starting line behind her, women she had never met from among the hopping, stretching, Lycra-clad crowd, had one effect on Missy Burleson — a smile spreading as far as her feet were about to sprint her.

    April 16, 2014 5 Photos

  • living will 1 Decision day

    Pastor Roger Pauley and his wife Marcia were — like so many other baby boomers — charged with the responsibility of making decisions for their aging parents. For the pastor’s father, death was sudden.

    April 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • BAF approves community grants

    Beckley Area Foundation Board of Directors has approved $160,737 to fund forty-four projects throughout Raleigh County between April 2014 and March 2015.

    April 13, 2014

  • Carnegie Hall in Lewisburg unveils upcoming events

    Carnegie Hall in Lewisburg has a variety of events planned for the spring and summer.

    April 13, 2014

  • Singer named an Outstanding Young American

    President Bill Clinton, Elvis Presley, Wayne Newton and General Chuck Yeager have one thing in common, they are all past recipients of the United States Jaycees Ten Outstanding Young Americans award. For over 75 years, the United States Junior Chamber (Jaycees) has recognized the 10 young men and women – under the age of 40 – who best exemplify the highest attributes of the nation’s emerging generation. The U.S. Jaycees is pleased to name West Virginia’s own Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. to the 2014 Ten Outstanding Young Americans who will be honored at the 76th annual black-tie awards ceremony – to be held June 28, 2014, at the BWI Airport Marriott Hotel in Baltimore, MD.

    April 13, 2014

  • alderson americorps Alderson Main Street welcomes its new Americorps member

    The members and friends of Alderson Main Street welcomed their new Americorps member, Lynda Howe, at its recent monthly meeting.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tractor pull event coming to State Fairgrounds in May

    The West Virginia Grand Nationals N.T.P.A. Championship pulling event debuts at the State Fair Event Center in Lewisburg Memorial Day weekend.

    April 13, 2014

  • Djembes Drumming workshop to be held

    The New River Community and Technical College Office of Workforce Education is sponsoring a Djembes Drumming workshop on Tuesdays for six weeks beginning April 29.

    April 13, 2014

  • Learn basic sewing at NRCTC

    The New River Community and Technical College Office of Workforce Education will offer a basic sewing class in Lewisburg in May.

    April 13, 2014