So Much Candy, So Little Time

During this season of spooky delights, take this quiz to see how much you really know about candy — and maybe even learn some sweet facts along the way.


1 of 10

True or false: It is possible for a child to get a “sugar high” after eating too much candy.

A fun size Snickers sits on a white backdrop.

2 of 10

Scientists have found links between eating dark chocolate and … ?

Lowered blood pressure

An inability to sleep

A reduced risk of stroke

All of the above

3 of 10

According to sales data from the past 15 years, the most popular Halloween candy is … ?

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups




4 of 10

Which ingredient found in some candies will be banned from foods in California in 2027?


Soy lecithin

Red dye No. 3

Citric acid

5 of 10

Which candy has been discontinued?

Pop Rocks

Necco Wafers


Butterfinger BB’s

6 of 10

Which type of sweet is the least likely to harm your teeth?



Caramel chew

Four sour gummies in a variety of colors sit on a white backdrop.

Sour gummy

7 of 10

Which candy has the least amount of sugar per fun-sized piece or packet?


Tootsie Pop

Candy cornA blue Tootsie Roll Pop sits on a white backdrop.

Kit Kat

8 of 10

Which statement about taste is true?

All of your sweet taste buds are located on the tip of your tongue.

Having a “sweet tooth” is based on your personal preferences, not your genes.

Children need more sugar to experience the same level of sweetness as adults.

Adults prefer the taste of sour candies more than children do.

9 of 10

How many Skittles would you have to eat to ingest the amount of sugar in a can of Coke?

Thirty Skittles sit on a white backdrop.






10 of 10

True or false: Candy is the biggest source of sugar in the American diet.


1. False

Parents know all too well that certain sugar-infused activities, like gorging on candy on Halloween night, can bring out a kid’s wild side. But the “sugar high” myth has been debunked; there’s no evidence that sugar can influence a child’s behavior or cognitive function, or make a child hyperactive.

2. All of the above

While the studies are far from conclusive, researchers have found that those who eat cocoa-based products — like chocolate, and especially dark chocolate — tend to enjoy several health benefits, including lowered blood pressure and reduced risk of certain cardiovascular diseases, like stroke and heart attack.

A 1.5-ounce dark chocolate bar can also contain more than 20 milligrams of caffeine. While a Halloween chocolate binge probably won’t put you over the Food and Drug Administration’s recommended daily caffeine limit of 400 milligrams, it could be enough to interfere with your sleep — depending on how sensitive you are to caffeine, and how much of it you consume and when.

3.  Based on sales information compiled by, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups were the most-purchased Halloween candy between 2007 and 2022. M&M’s came in second place, Starburst came in sixth and Snickers came in 10th.


4. Red dye No. 3

 Earlier this month, Gov. Gavin Newsom of California signed a law that would ban four chemicals, including Red dye No. 3, from foods beginning in 2027. The coloring is currently used in several popular Halloween candies, including candy corn and certain colors and flavors of Pez and Peeps.

The F.D.A. banned the dye from cosmetics in 1990 after animal studies showed that it could cause cancer in high doses, but the agency still allows its use in food. The dye is banned in the European Union, except when used as a coloring for cocktail and candied cherries.

5. Butterfinger BB’s

Butterfinger BB’s candy — a round, bite-sized version of the classic Butterfinger bar — debuted in 1992, but was discontinued in 2006 because of low sales, according to a tweet from Butterfinger in 2014. Pop Rocks, Necco Wafers and Bit-O-Honey are all still available.

6. Chocolate

Any candy that is sticky, gooey or chewy can adhere to your teeth or wedge into its crevices, feeding the cavity-causing bacteria that live inside your mouth. The acids in sour candy can also wear away at the protective enamel of your teeth, increasing the risk of tooth decay. Because chocolate isn’t as sticky as these other types of candies, it is a better choice for your oral health, according to the American Dental Association — especially if you choose dark chocolate, they say, since it tends to have less cavity-causing sugar than milk chocolate.

7. A trick-or-treat sized Kit Kat contains about eight grams of sugar. A mini box of Nerds, a Tootsie Pop and a small packet of candy corn each contain about 11 grams of sugar.

8. Children need more sugar to experience the same level of sweetness as adults.

Researchers have found that when children are given a sugary drink, they need a higher sugar concentration than adults do in order to detect a sweet taste. They’ve also discovered that the cells in the tongue that sense sweet, salty, bitter, sour and umami tastes are spaced out across the tongue; some people are genetically more predisposed to liking sweets than others; and children tend to prefer the taste of sour candies more than adults do.

9. 50

One can of Coke contains 39 grams (or about 10 teaspoons) of sugar — about the same amount as in 50 Skittles. The American Heart Association recommends that women consume no more than 24 grams of sugar per day, and men no more than 36 grams per day.

10. False

People in the United States consume a lot of candy on Halloween. But by far, soda and other sweetened drinks account for the majority of added sugar in our diets.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, for instance, 24 percent of the added sugars people in the United States consume each day come from sugar-sweetened beverages. Another 19 percent come from desserts and sweet snacks; 11 percent from coffee and tea; 9 percent from candy; and 7 percent from breakfast cereals and bars.


— Test Your Candy I.Q.; Edited by Julia Calderone. Produced by Deanna Donegan, Hang Do Thi Duc and Tiffanie Graham.

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