Parents and kids, watch out! Halloween is truly scary after all because of how dangerous it really is! At least, to one's health, according to an Australian study published by The Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) for the Australian Medical Association (AMA).
The study entitled "The Dark Side to Halloween: Marketing Unhealthy Products to our Children?" by Gillian P. Porter, MB BS, DCH, Public Health Registrar and Nathan J. Grills, MB BS, DPhil, MPH, Public Health Physician, revealed that Halloween is dangerous because of all the unhealthy junk food, especially candies which are eaten by a lot of people during this time. This contributes to the rampant obesity among children nowadays, which could lead to diabetes, high blood pressure and heart problems in the future.
"In the US each year, US$8 billion is spent on Halloween-related items, including US$2.4 billion on confectionery, a number that exceeds sales at Easter, Christmas and Valentine's Day," Dr. Grills said.
"In 2012, leading Australian supermarkets recorded increases of up to 30 per cent in sales of such merchandise in the lead-up to Halloween."
But, sweets are not the only danger during Halloween. The report also mentions other dangers brought about by eating food such as foodborne disease, contaminated food and food allergies from peanuts, etc.
Aside from food, the seemingly harmless carved pumpkin, which is a staple in Halloween decorations, is also a dangerous thing. Because most carved pumpkins are lit from within using candles, it is a fire hazard and an accident waiting to happen.
The study also warns about the increasing rate of children being struck or run over by passing cars while they go trick or treating with their friends in the neighborhood.
Halloween truly is dangerous, not only to one's health, but also to one's pocket! Think of all the candies, decorations and costumes involved in Halloween! It can seriously make a dent on one's budget, especially in these times.
That's why with all these health and safety risks during Halloween, as well as the huge amounts of money being spent just to celebrate it, it's a wonder why it's still a very popular holiday in Australia and some parts of the world, particularly in the U.S.
Guess people's idea of fun is eating lots of candy, playing tricks on people, dressing up in silly costumes and trying to scare people or get scared in the process.
"Australians should be aware that profit-driven corporate manipulation of our cultural choices could damage our health. Instead, we should promote healthy and family-friendly events that are consistent with our own cultural identity", said Dr. Grills and Dr. Porter.
"As we consider the rising popularity of Halloween among Australian children, we should ask ourselves: who is being tricked, and who is being treated?"
Read more on "The Dark Side to Halloween: Marketing Unhealthy Products to our Children?" by Gillian P. Porter, MB BS, DCH, Public Health Registrar and Nathan J. Grills, MB BS, DPhil, MPH, Public Health Physician at the MJA Web site, where it was published online. (click here)
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