While I understand that some people may prefer salty snacks like popcorn or potato chips as their favorite dessert, for me, it's always been about candy. One of my earliest childhood memories was from when I was basically still a baby standing in my kitchen discussing Halloween with my mother. This was my first time dressing up in a costume (I was the scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz!) to go trick-or-treating around the neighborhood, and I just couldn't wrap my head around the idea that people would give me piles of free candy as Halloween treats just for showing up at their front door - it all seemed too good to be true!
From that moment on, chocolate gifts and all other forms of candy became my childhood obsession. Of course, my parents tried to curb my sweet tooth with stories about kids whose teeth fell out or became so hyper that they had to be home-schooled, but I always suspected they were making up these tall tales.
It was only later - when I became a candy-loving adult - that I realized the different misconceptions that surrounded my favorite snack food. Here are some of the most common candy myths debunked.
Poisoned Halloween Candy
One of the fears my parents never failed to instill in me over the years was that nasty grownups might be tampering with my Halloween candy - putting poison or sharp objects into the chocolate. Before I was ever allowed to dig into my bounty, I had to let Mom and Dad go through everything to make sure there weren't any opened wrappers. However, according to the Los Angeles Times, instances of poisoned sweets are incredibly rare and often fueled by collective public anxieties about crime or violent acts. However, it's still not a bad idea to inspect Halloween candy first.
One of the more plausible misconceptions about candy is that it makes kids (or anyone who eats it, really) incredibly hyperactive. This seems like it would make sense - considering that sweets are loaded with sugar - but Discovery News reports that researchers at West Virginia University have found no evidence that candy leads to energetic. Instead, the study suggests that environment - such as a birthday party - is a more likely contributor.
Caffeine In Candy
Much like the myth surrounding kids bouncing off the walls, many people are under the impression that candy also contains a great deal of caffeine, which can give you a much-needed burst of energy just like coffee. While chocolate does possess varying levels of natural caffeine, milk chocolate - the most popular form - contains a relatively insignificant amount. According to Hershey's, one of their standard chocolate bars has only 12 mg of caffeine, which equals three cups of decaf coffee - nothing to write home about, in my opinion.
There Will Be Cavities
As someone with a wicked sweet tooth, my mother always told me that my teeth would be filled with cavities and fall out of my head if I ate too much chocolate on Halloween. However, Discovery News reports that Dr. Stephen Mitchell of University of Alabama at Birmingham states that as long as your brush and floss regularly, you'll be safe from overnight cavities developing .
Have a few unanswered questions about candy that you would like cleared up? Trying to debunk all those chocolate myths mom and dad told you as a kid? Comment on our Facebook or Twitter pages to share your adventures in candy facts and fiction.