Here’s Why it’s So Hard to Stop Eating Halloween Candy

Halloween candy's hold on its victims goes beyond sugar.

halloween candy
Halloween candy is loaded with an addicting trifecta.
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While many may think that the sugar packed into the bite-sized Halloween candy your kids will collect trick-or-treating is responsible for their addictive properties, there’s more to it than that.

Halloween candy is, of course, loaded with the sweet stuff, but it’s the can’t-put-down combination of salt, fat and sugar that will keeps its victims coming back for more.

“You can just keep unwrapping and popping those little suckers,” assistant professor of nutrition at Simmons University, Rachele Pojednic, told Time. “But that wouldn’t happen if you walked into an office and there was a bowl of white sugar on the table.”

The trifecta “really revs up the hedonic eating system,” Pojednic explained, referring to the phenomenon of eating for pleasure rather than satiation.

Many studies have demonstrated how sweet, salty or fatty foods activate pathways in the brain associated with pleasure and reward that have the ability to override the body’s way of knowing when it’s full. When skillfully layered together, the three form a nearly irresistible bite.

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