Halloween trick: Keep the wrapper in sight to eat less

October 31, 2007 in Nutrition for Children and Teenagers, Nutrition Topics in the News, Weight Management

Halloween trick: Keep the wrapper in sight to eat less

People who keep the wrappers of their eaten treats in plain sight eat fewer candies, according to a study being presented at the American Heart Association conference this weekend.

Study author Brian Wansink calls it "mindless eating". When people throw away the wrappers of the candy they have eaten, they have no idea how much they have eaten. Keeping the wrappers provides a visual reminder of the extra calories that have been consumed.

The study also found that moving a candy dish five to 10 feet away will deter people from over-indulging in sweets. For Halloween, Wasink recommends letting kids choose the treats they want to enjoy right now, and then keeping the stash out of sight.

Parents should be the nutritional gatekeeper when it comes to divvying up Halloween candy. Avoid "mindless eating" by setting a limit on the number of pieces per day and monitor the family's consumption of sugary treats.

Daily eating habits should be adjusted to account for the extra calories from Halloween candy. For example, don't order desserts when dining out if you know you're going home to have a chocolate bar later.

Halloween comes once a year and - with mindful consumption - the excess calories should last only one day too.

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