Kids can turn Halloween stash into cash

Last year, Lincoln kids sold more than 600 pounds of their hard-earned Halloween candy for some cold hard cash.

Lincoln Family Dentistry’s Halloween Candy Buy Back program continues for the fourth year, promising kids and their parents 50 cents for every pound of candy turned in.

On average, kids walk away with $2 to $10 in their pockets, said Dr. Kathryn Alderman, a dentist in the group.

The Buy Back program began as a way to reduce kids’ sugar intake, protect their teeth from cavities and do something good for American troops -- who reaped the sweet and chocolatey rewards of the buy back.

But this year, Lincoln Family Dentistry will not send the candy to troops, Alderman said. The reason: Too much sugar isn’t good for them either.

The mother of a new Navy recruit, she can attest to what six months of less-than-healthy eating can do to a body.

His diet is the unhealthiest it has ever been,” she sa

And it confirmed the suspicion that niggled her and her office co-workers over the past year: “The troops don’t need all that sugar.”

So this year, they’re sending all the collected candy to Omaha, where an organization there can decide what to do with it.

Rather, she’s a doctor with legitimate worries about the health of American children and adults.

And when it comes to bad health, sugar is the sinister sweet that sneaks into nearly every food we eat -- even our “healthy” yogurts, soups and salads.

The average American consumes 20 teaspoons of sugar a day -- that’s about one-half cup -- and more than three times the six teaspoons recommended for children by the American Heart Association.

Today, an 8-year-old in a developed country will have consumed more sugar than the average person did in his or her entire lifetime 100 years ago, according to

But newer research finds sugar has far more serious implications for children and their health.

People worry about calories, but sugar is much more dangerous for kids,” Alderman sa

Kids with sugar-saturated diets are at risk for heart disease, elevated blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

Simple sugars, including glucose, table sugar, fructose and honey cause a 50 percent drop in the ability of white blood cells to engulf bacteria,” he wrote in his “Ask Dr. Sears” colu
An overdose of sugar (100 grams -- the equivalent of 2½ 12-ounce cans of soda) … can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs by 40 percent. The immune suppressing effect of sugar starts less than 30 minutes after ingestion and may last for five hours,” Sears wro

Sugar -- while not necessarily to blame for hyperactivity -- can lead to behavioral issues, reduced attention span and decreased learning ability in sugar-sensitive people, according to doctors.

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