Say No to Halloween “Trick or Treating”!

halloween

Say No to Halloween Trick or Treating!


Say No to Halloween “Trick or Treating”!

Richard Hollerman

We know that at this time of the year, children go from door to door, begging for candy and other sweet favors. They call this “trick or treating” since traditionally the supposition is that the child will bestow an unwanted “trick” (a malicious act of destruction on the property) on the home-owner, in case he or she fails to give a “treat” to the visiting masqueraded child.

Many or most of those who read this little article will probably object to such a cultural practice, something that is commonly done in America and probably other countries. Many of you are professing Christians who refuse to be sucked into the selfish practice that nearly everyone is involved in today.  But what are we to do if we don’t yield to this “fun” (but pagan) practice?

Some of us will probably be able to avoid this kind of foolishness.  It hasn’t been a “problem” at all for me during the 37 years I’’ve lived in this area. Granted, much of the time I worked evenings, thus I wasn’’t around when Halloween “trick or treaters” go to each door around here. And when I do plan to be around on Halloween, I just keep the outside light off.  I don’t know if it is the same in your area, but when someone is open to visitors, they leave their light on as a indication to the children that this is a house where they will be welcome. Otherwise, this would discourage the young ones from coming to the door as they look for candy.

Elsewhere on this website, you will find several articles that clearly show the negatives of celebrating Halloween. The holiday is filled with pagan elements as well as some false religion (the term itself means “Holy Evening”). Simply go to the “General Topics” section on the left and scroll down to “Holidays.” There you will find articles about Christmas, Easter, and especially Halloween.

But besides the spiritual and moral negatives to celebrating this holiday, which would keep us from welcoming children to the door, what about the nutritional aspect? We know that sweets (for example, candy) are detrimental to our children’s well-being, thus why would we want to perpetuate a practice that is also detrimental to our neighbor’s children? As Scripture says, “Love does no wrong to a neighbor” (Romans 13:10a). Yes, love does no wrong to the Halloweeners who go door to door in the neighborhood! Why should I do something that I know is negative to their health? Why should I promote something that will keep children bound to cultural-expectations and a slave of nutritional negatives?

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We’ve found an article dealing with this nutritional aspect of Halloween on children and we’d like to pass on the first half of it below:

Just Say No to Candy 

My wife and I used to shudder at the mere thought of our children going from house to house collecting candy, with the intention of eating it. We decided we were not going to be part of the candy-giving crowd, yet our kids wanted to be like everyone else. So we had to come up with something that would excite our children and please us. Fortunately, we did. It is possible to enjoy Halloween and make it a healthy celebration as well. It’s fun to dress up, be silly or scary and enjoy a unique annual event with our neighbors. As parents we must protect our children from harm and give them the best opportunity in life to have a happy and healthy future. Science suggests this candy feast does the opposite.

Scientific studies document that eating candy increases  a child’s risk of later life cancer (1), ADHD (2), aggression, emotional and psychiatric diseases, and decreases intelligence. It may even increase the likelihood of violent criminal behavior (3), and will invariably result in eating patterns that can lead to a troubled and painful later life.

Consider a recent study on children who were fed junk food. They were tested as teens and it was found that they have lower IQ’s, reduced attention span and smaller hippocampus on MRI. That means it permanently damaged a part of their brain that is involved in learning and performance. (4)

Why is feeding toxic substances to our children celebrated with a holiday? Is it possible that:

1.       Parents are so addicted to sweets that they are in denial that candy damages the body?

2.       Parents think that a moderate ingestion of toxic or harmful substances is not disease-causing?

3.       Parents think that it is okay to take risks with their children’s health because most diseases do not develop until later in adult life?

4.       Peer pressure to continue with the status quo.

Many adults in our country are addicted to sweets, white flour products and other junk food. Most are completely unaware they are addicted or worse deny it; this may eventually ruin their lives and place them in a position of suffering later in life. People who are addicted to a substance frequently lose the ability to think logically. Instead of making decisions based on science and logic, they seek denial, rationalizations and excuses that consciously and subconsciously permit them to continue their preferred addiction. Food can be so addicting that parents may subconsciously sacrifice the health of their children by feeding them unhealthful foods. This allows parents to delay their own change to a healthy diet and avoid dealing with and facing the awareness of how dangerous, candy, junk food and fast food are.

Food dyes and food chemicals found in candy are also carcinogenic. According to a recent report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, these man-made food dyes have dangerous health consequences, including promoting cancer and hyperactivity in children. (1)  This is why the nonprofit Washington, D.C.-based consumer-watchdog group has asked the Food and Drug Administration to ban them. No matter what our leaders in Washington do, you have a choice. You can choose to ban these foods from your diet and not feed them to your children.

For many, moderation is a myth. Eating junk food in moderation can be compared to moderation with cigarettes, even an occasional smoke leads many to want to smoke more. Toxic and harmful substances have varying toxicities based on genetic factors, with varying degrees of damage proportional to use and individual sensitivities. For many people, even moderate or occasional use of addictive substances such as tobacco, alcohol, doughnuts or candy can result in habitual use, sweet craving and toxic hunger. Sadly, feeding this addictive behavior can lead to serious diseases.

Not just Halloween but most holidays in America send a psychological message and teaching point to our children – the future leaders of our society. It says that pleasure-seeking, self-abuse with alcohol, junk food, and disease-causing substances that trigger addictive highs in the brain are okay, normal and desired. Seeking to get high on dangerous substances is not normal, it is a mass pathology. Highly processed candy bars and doughnut holes did not exist hundreds of years ago and the human body is not equipped to deal with such concentrated sources of sugar and chemicals. Candy and sugar is the gate way drug, meaning it for many, it leads to cravings and more brain stimulation with alcohol and drugs.

There are other ways to have fun with children besides feeding them hurtful foods. Children are inherently intelligent and perceptive, if they learn the dangers of consuming candy, they can also appreciate the parental concern here as an expression of love; watchful for their future. Now is the time to say no to this insanity and start modeling good behavior. . . .

Endnotes 

1Michels KB, rosner BA, Chumlea WC, et al. Preschool diet and adult fisk of breast cancer. Int J Cancer 2006;118(3):749-54.

2Wiles NJ, Northstone K, Emmett P, Lewis G. Junk food diet and childhood behavioral problems: results from the ALSPAC cohort. Eru J Clin Nutr 2009;63(4):491-8. Avena NM, Rada P, Hoebel BG. Evidence for sugar addiction: behavioral and neurochemical effects of intermittent, excessive sugar intake. Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews. 2008;32(1):20-39. PubMed PMID: 17617461. Pubmed Central PMCID: 2235907. Overby N, Hoigaard R. Diet and behavioral problems at school in Norwegian adolescents. Food & nutrition research. 2012;56. PubMed PMID: 22761600. Pubmed Central PMCID: 3387363.

3Moore SC, Carter LM, van Goozen S. Confectionery consumption in childhood and adult violence. Br J Psychiatry 2009;195(4):366-367. Gesch CB. Influence of supplementary vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids on the antisocial behaviour of young adult prisoners: Randomised, placebo-controlled trial. The British Journal of Psychiatry. 2002 2002/07/01/;181(1):22-8. 7. Virkkunen M, Huttunen MO. Evidence for abnormal glucose tolerance test among violent offenders. Neuropsychobiology. 1982;8(1):30-4. PubMed PMID: 7057987. Golomb BA, Evans MA, White HL, et al. Trans fat consumption and aggression. PloS one. 2012;7(3):e32175. PubMed PMID: 22403632. Pubmed Central PMCID: 3293881.

4Yau PL, Castro MG, Tagani A, et al. Obesity and metabolic syndrome and functional and structural brain impairments in adolescence. Pediatrics 20102;130:e856-864. Thaler JP, Yi C-X, Schur EA, et al. Obesity is associated with hypothalamic injury in rodents and humans. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 2012 2012/01/03/;122(1):153-62. Northstone K, Joinson C, Emmett P, et al. Are dietary patterns in childhood associated with IQ at 8 years of age? A population-based cohort study. Journal of epidemiology and community health. 2012 Jul;66(7):624-8. PubMed PMID: 21300993

–Joel Fuhrman

DrFuhrman.com

Has this little article given you another side to this issue? Can you see another negative to this matter of giving candy to children on Halloween? (The same could be said to the practice of giving candy to one’s children on Easter or Christmas.)

Personally, we would recommend that you either stay away from your home on Halloween night, or perhaps stay in another part of your house with the front lights off. Some people have taken the opportunity of giving out “Christian” children’s tracts to little ones who visit. They claim that it would be difficult to have this outreach at other times of the year.  However, we still think that giving anything would promote a selfish and fleshly attitude—something that we definitely want to avoid.  So take great care about this practice after you sit down and analyze the issues. Do you really want to do something that will promote an unhealthy practice that could influence children for years to come?

Another point worth mentioning would be this: Let the neighborhood children that you are not negative to children in general. On the contrary, do all you can at other times to let them know that you love children and want their welfare. Be friendly and kind and approachable. Be open and winsome in your attitude and demeanor.

May the Lord give us wisdom as we seek to apply Biblical principles to many non-Christian practices in our culture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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