The Grinch Who Stole Halloween
by Danielle Wood
Just call me the Grinch.
That's what I'm beginning to call myself, anyway. In the past year or so, I have suddenly become a Sugar Fascist-- attempting to refuse my son all forms of glucose-inducing pleasure. Flavored yogurt was a health food when I was a kid. Now, it has become my Public Enemy Number 1.
This sugar stinginess is difficult at the best of times. But with Halloween just around the corner, it's become next to impossible. Candy corn looms at every checkout stand. Big plastic bags chock full of Reese's Cups and Milky Ways, lurk at the head of every grocery aisle. I've become slightly obsessed, I must admit, practically apoplectic as I scan the ingredients of cereals and crackers. "Sugar, sugar, and more sugar..." I moan. Meanwhile, my son plans his Trick or Treat route, his eyes glowing in anticipation.
It's not that I want to deny him the joy of an overflowing plastic pumpkin. But I've become increasingly aware that sugar has wormed its way into every product in the American pantry. Today's children are swimming in it. In 1967, according to U.S. News and World Report, sugar consumption was at 114 pounds per person, almost all of it raw or refined. In 2003, it hit 142 pounds per person-- and 61 of those pounds were made up of high-fructose corn syrup.
But wait, you're thinking. All that sugar must have been counteracted by some good old fashioned greens, right? Not exactly. In that same year, the average American ate a measly 8.3 pounds of broccoli.
And so, like I said, I've become a sugar Grinch-- refusing to bow to the pressure of cookies in the lunch box and dessert each night after dinner.