Grown Ups Ruin Everything

WSJ has a story this morning on kids and the sugar in Halloween treats. On the one hand, I love it because if offers scientific evidence (or rather, lack thereof) of an opinion I have long held: that there's no such thing as a sugar high.
There is controversy, too, over whether children really experience a sugar high, possibly followed by a sugar crash, after eating too many sweets. Many parents and teachers might swear the phenomenon is real. But scientific studies have failed to find consistent evidence.
The body's ability to increase its tolerance for sugar might explain why some people experience a sugar high and others don't, suggests Dr. Lustig. "You don't see a sugar high in adults," he says.
Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University, says the idea of kids experiencing a sugar high is largely anecdotal.
"People swear by it, that if a lot of sugar is coming into a little body at once, that kids are bouncing off the walls," says Dr. Nestle. "But I'm not aware of any documented evidence." 
On the other hand, here's another article documenting the lengths uptight, killjoy adults will go to suck the fun out of any feast day. Here are dentists buying back Halloween candy, parents sanctimoniously parcelling out one candy at a time, and worst of all: leaving the candy out by the jack-o-lantern overnight, when the tooth-goblin-fairy replaces it with a gift. Thanks be to God the Weedlets are getting a bit long in the tooth for trick-or-treating, but I hope that doesn't catch on. Just what every busy parent needs: another gift-buying occasion, when part of the fun of Halloween is FREE treats and no shopping beyond the usual grocery run.

The piece tells us all the dangers of sugar -- but for crying out loud, they are dangers of prolonged and regular sugar use, not one feast day's indulgence. Use the scary information to revamp your eating habits the rest of the year long and let the feast days be treat days as intended. I don't understand people who let their kids lead sedentary lives and serve dessert every night and then suddenly on Halloween, Thanksgiving & Christmas get the idea they should limit sweets. Or who, on the contrary, lead health-conscious lives all year long and can't let an occasional day be special. Can't think of a better way to fail to teach moderation than to spoil every holiday with unnecessary disciplines and be undisciplined all year long. Nor can I think of a better illustration of our culture's dysfunctional relationship with pleasure.
Some families have extended their anti-candy inclinations to the trick-or-treaters coming to their door. Ms. Brekke-Hutchings, in Seattle, says she has purchased 96 glow sticks to hand out on Halloween. As for the candy she buys from her own children, "We just throw it away," says Ms. Brekke-Hutchings. "It feels wasteful, but if it's not good enough for my kids, why should I give it to someone else?"
I don't mind the glow-sticks. Glow-sticks are fun. But throwing away purchased, still-wrapped food? If you feel that strongly about it, why trick or treat at all? Have the courage of your convictions and throw a party instead or admit that Halloween doesn't mean anything to you. But collecting treats from neighbors who gave it to you to enjoy and throwing it out instead of allowing someone to enjoy it is indeed wasteful. And a few other choice words.

Update: My spy in NY sent me a link to a British blog writing about an effort to ban candy bars at grocery check-outs. Someone in the story has to say the obvious: "there's nothing wrong with sweets."
Junk food at checkouts under fire as new health minister says she wants to stop parents being pestered by children

So politicians are going to stop children pestering their parents, are they? Good luck with that. How about we have politicians that stop pestering us?

Years ago grocery stores stateside instituted -- not in response to government regulation, but in response to parents tired of candy-pestering at the end of a grocery run-- a candy-free check out aisle. It was supposed to be family friendly: no candy bars, no fashion magazines with lewd covers and headlines. That was fun while it lasted. Now, however, those aisles are filled with over-priced "healthy" organic juice-sweetened snacks, over-priced electrolyte & acai berry infused flavored waters, little junky toys, and everyone seems to have forgotten about the no-Cosmo-for-kids rule. The stores are going to sell you something --and whatever it is will probably be less worthwhile than a Butterfingers bar.

Here's a thought about parental pestering: parents could learn to say "no."