Halloween Roundup

Pumpkin CarvingThere is still time to plan for a reasonable response to the annual sugar festival known as Halloween. Childhood Obesity News has amassed a great number of hints and strategies that an overwhelmed parent or teacher might find useful to help do things differently in 2015.

Rethinking Halloween with SAAD” looks at some goofy costumes for babies and discusses the idea of Sugar Addiction Awareness Day, and goes on to suggest alternatives to candy for trick-or-treat handouts. “Halloween Proximity Alert” introduces an idea pioneered in Colorado, known as Green Halloween, and talks about the movement toward eliminating celebrations in schools, or at the very least, toward refocusing such end-of-October observations on good health rather than candy consumption. It also includes a few other practical ideas for bringing a little sanity to the holiday, including preparatory exercise.

Another seasonal post looks at the connection between allergies, addiction, obesity and Halloween. Here is the central idea:

Apparently, Western medicine has made a devil’s bargain, trading a greater ability to control infectious diseases for a handicap in the form of debilitated intestinal flora that cannot handle processed grains, sugar, or fat, and that problem somehow leads to, causes, or facilitates obesity.

Will Childhood Obesity Kill Halloween?” looks at the perhaps ill-considered decision made by the Obama administration to hand out candy while the First Lady was working hard to get childhood obesity under control in America. The same post describes new idea proposed in various communities around the country. “The Annual Childhood Obesity Challenge” suggests more trick-or-treat alternatives, along with ways of talking to children about the need for moderation. It also talks about the advantages of banding together with neighbors to effect change.

A Problematic Holiday for Childood Obesity” emphasizes the obstacles the holiday presents to children who are already consciously struggling with problem foods, and offers more hints from experts on how to minimize the damage. “Last-Minute Halloween Hints” contains yet more thoughts on how to keep both kids and grownups happy in the face of the deluge of sweets. “Childhood Obesity Halloween Prep” goes into some detail about how families may cope.

Basically, what we are dealing with here is a well-loved holiday, and no one wants to take all the fun out of it. The main thing to remember about trying to change the face of Halloween is that nothing can compare with an early start. The younger the children are, the easier it is to convince them that your definition of Halloween is the correct one.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Image by Kenny Louie

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About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

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