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Marcia Mangum Cronin

HealthyWomen's Copy Editor

Marcia Cronin has worked with HealthyWomen for over 15 years in various editorial capacities. She brings a strong background in copy editing. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor's degree in journalism and worked for over two decades in newspapers, including at The Los Angeles Times and The Virginian-Pilot.

After leaving newspapers, Marcia began working as a freelance writer and editor, specializing in health and medical news. She has copy edited books for Rodale, Reader's Digest, Andrews McMeel Publishing and the Academy of Nutritionists and Dietitians.

Marcia and her husband have two grown daughters and share a love of all things food- and travel-related.

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candy corn

Don't Be Tricked by Tempting Halloween Candies

Nutrition & Movement

We all know the heaping bowls of Halloween candy can be a lot scarier than the little spooks and goblins that appear at our doors on Halloween night. So, which candies are the best and which the worst if you're trying to avoid excess calories?

The American Council on Exercise offers its bad and better choices, but the advice comes with a warning: Remember, it's "better" candy, not nutritious food, so don't eat excessive amounts of any candy.


  • Reese's Peanut Butter Cups: This Halloween favorite packs a whopping 105 calories each, and 50 of those calories come from fat.
  • Mounds Snack Size: Dark chocolate and coconut sound like they could be healthy, but guess again. The first ingredient is corn syrup, and even the snack size bar contains 80 calories, half of them from fat.
  • Almond Joy Snack Size: Once again, you could fool yourself into thinking almonds are healthy, but these little bars also contain 80 calories apiece, half from fat.
  • Kit Kat Snack Size Bars: Break off just three pieces and you'll consume 210 calories, 90 calories from fat, which makes it one of the higher caloric bars and also high in fat.


  • Starburst Original Fruit Chews: Like many fat-free products, this candy is loaded with sugar. But, you can enjoy nine pieces for 150 calories and no fat (but watch out for the 22 grams of sugar).
  • Dum Dum Pops: This may not be at the top of everyone's favorites list, but don't rule it out. At 59 calories per serving size—or three lollipops—the Dum Dum is a low-caloric sugary treat you can enjoy for hours.
  • Tootsie Roll: The chewy Tootsie Roll also can take a long time to eat, so enjoy those 140 calories, with 30 calories from fat.
  • Brach's Candy Corn: This Halloween tradition is a sugar bomb with salt. But you can grab a large handful—26 pieces to be exact—and gobble up 150 calories with no fat.
  • Jolly Rancher Hard Candy: Enjoy three Jolly Ranchers and still stay below 100 calories with no fat.
  • Peeps Marshmallow Pumpkins: These little marshmallows are mostly piles of sugar. But they're still lower in calories and fat than most chocolate treats. And since it might be difficult to eat eight (one serving) at once, you will probably get less calories, fat and sugar. If you do eat eight, you'll get 130 calories, no fat and a whopping 29 grams of sugar.
  • York Snack Size Peppermint Patties: If you'd rather satisfy your chocolate craving than try to substitute other sugary treats, then reach for a Peppermint Patty. It scores better than most chocolate bars with 50 calories and 1 gram of fat.

Remember, these recommendations come from the American Council on Exercise. Your dentist might not agree with some of these sticky choices. (If you do indulge in any sugary treats, be sure to brush afterward. If that's not possible, rinse your mouth or chew some sugarless gum.)

While the American Council on Exercise is handing out advice, it reminds us to get moving if we've been digging into the Halloween candy stash a little too often. Here are some of the council's seasonal suggestions:

  • Stretch your bones: Incorporate a Frankenstein Walk into your warm-up to help raise your body temperature and loosen you up.
  • Walk the plank: This variation on the front plank calls for walking forward and backward in the plank position. That's scary!
  • Howl at the moon: Go from downward facing dog yoga position to Pouncing Werewolf for an excellent total-body workout that will really challenge your core.

To find out how to do these moves and to get more workout ideas, visit ACE GetFit.

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