Diarmaid Ferriter: Halloween’s sugar mountain part of a relentless cycle

The Irish Heart Foundation puts it simply: ‘Stop targeting children’

Halloween bounty: 45 chocolate bars, 10 packets of chocolate buttons, 17 packets of jellies . . . Photograph: Getty

Halloween bounty: 45 chocolate bars, 10 packets of chocolate buttons, 17 packets of jellies . . . Photograph: Getty

The youngest tipped over the pillowcase. Time to count the bounty. Here we go: 45 chocolate bars, 10 packets of chocolate buttons, 17 packets of jellies, 15 small boxes – a mixture of Smarties, M&Ms and Maltesers – six lollipops, four packets of crisps and numerous stray, chewy sweets. An avalanche of treats, and she didn’t perform a trick at any of the doors she called to.

In the middle of the sugar mountain there were six nuts and one shiny apple. She looked on these, not with disgust, but with bemusement; they were clearly aliens. Why on earth, her cute face seemed to suggest, would these have been flung into the mix?

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