Parents have been warned not to give their little ones too many treats this Halloween.
NHS Tayside’s Paediatric Overweight Service Tayside (POST) acknowledged it can be tricky for adults to say no but warned the average child collects the equivalent of at least 200 sachets of sugar while out guising.
Service leaders claimed it would take a staggering 31 hours of brisk walking just to burn off the extra calories taken in from all those terrifying treats.
Dr Laura Stewart, team leader for POST, said grown-ups should instead consider swapping out sugary sweets for fruit or other healthier options.
She said: “We want everyone to have a good time at Halloween but to think about using healthy snacks such as apples or satsumas for trick or treats instead of the usual sweets which can easily turn into unwanted extra weight for children.”
It is recommended children aged four to six have no more than 19g of sugar a day, while the limit for seven to ten-year-olds is 24g.
However, children often take home more than 10 times the recommended daily amount on Halloween night alone and experts have warned the sugary haul could have serious health ramifications.
Dr Stewart said: “Obesity in children is an important issue across Scotland and in Tayside.
“We know that on average, 20% of children aged between two and four years will have a weight problem in Scotland.
“High sugar intake is linked to obesity and tooth decay and many children consume far too many high sugar foods and drinks too often, especially on occasions such as Halloween, Christmas and Easter.”
POST suggests adults try out a number of tricks such as reducing the size of the container used to collect sweets when out guising and eating a balanced meal before leaving the house.
They also recommend swapping in bite-sized treats and introducing spooky fruit and vegetable snacks such as ghoulish bananas, spider satsumas and apple monsters.
To find out more about the POST service or if you have any concerns about your child’s weight, contact POST in confidence on 01738 473784 or email firstname.lastname@example.org