Too much candy could kill. But the good news is, it’d take an extreme amount of sugar to prove fatal for someone.
Scientists developed a test called the LD50 to determine the strength of potentially deadly substances, The Wall Street Journal.
“It stands for lethal dose 50%,” toxicologist Hans Plugge told the Wall Street Journal. “You take 10 rats, feed them a dose, and if five of them die, you’ve determined the LD50. It’s pretty straight forward.”
According to a video produced by the American Chemical Society, there are ethical reasons for why toxicity is measured this way, even for substances like candy.
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“Scientists often use approximations like these because getting the lethal dose of sugar or other compounds in humans would be widely unethical, for obvious reasons,” according to the video.
An average American weighs around 182 pounds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
When it comes to candy, a typical “fun-sized” treat contains about 9.3 grams of sugar, according to the ACS. The average adult would have to eat around 5.4 pounds of sugar -- at one time -- for it to be potentially deadly, according to the ACS. That would translate to around 262 pieces of “fun size” candy, according to the video.
As for the kids celebrating Halloween, it’s unlikely that the average American child around the age of 10 could eat a lethal amount of candy, Plugge told the Wall Street Journal.
“More than likely, they’d throw up before reaching the lethal dose,” Plugge said.
To figure out how much candy you -- or your kid -- would have to eat to face even odds of death, “multiply your weight (in pounds) by 13.5, then divide the result by the grams of sugar in the candy of your choice,” suggests the LA Times. That’ll tell you how much of your favorite candy is too much.