By Syed Rahim

Like millions of Americans nationwide, you’re probably trick-or-treating this Halloween.  And, like those millions of Americans, you’re probably salivating over the thought of free chocolate.  But for some with concerns over their health, the holiday poses a tricky question: is it possible to stay healthy while still enjoying Halloween?

“Nutritionally and dentally speaking, the modern-day Halloween is kind of a disaster,” says Harvard Health contributor Andrew Wehrwein.  “Certain kinds of candy may be hard on teeth, apart from promoting cavities.”

Mr. Wehrwein isn’t alone.  Among concerned parents and pediatricians across the globe, the same words are echoed.  And if that isn’t enough, increasing amounts of research show that candy can cause cavities and erode tooth enamel, stacking on yet another layer of stress to parents and guardians.

If you’re reading this and worrying about a few extra pounds, don’t throw out your costume just yet.  Halloween, much like the chocolate it celebrates, is multi-layered:  a hard, discouraging exterior is soon met with a rewarding nougat center.  To put it in less confusing terms, a healthy Halloween is possible with simply hard work and calorie counting.  For example, a fun-size Snickers bar contains 80 calories.  A nice 20 minute walk around the neighborhood will burn 50.  A brisk seven minute run will burn 80.  Balancing your intake with a healthy regimen will ensure your fitness.  If your health is a concern, strap your running shoes onto your Hans and Franz costume and jog an extra lap around the neighborhood.  In time, you’ll find a reward sweeter than any candy.

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