The Switch Witch (& another Sugar rant)

The Switch Witch: A Halloween Tradition

It's that time of year again! The leaves are changing, the air is getting crisp, and Halloween is just around the corner. For many families, that means it's time to break out the Switch Witch. But what is the Switch Witch, and how does she work? Read on to find out!

The Switch Witch is a Halloween tradition that dates back to the early 2000s. The idea is simple: on Halloween night, instead of eating ALL their candy, kids leave a large portion of their candy out for the Switch Witch. In exchange for the candy, the Switch Witch leaves a small toy or treat.

The benefits of this tradition are twofold. First, it helps to promote healthy eating habits by discouraging kids from overeating sugar-laden candy. Second, it helps kids to learn important lessons about work (trick-or-treating) money (the candy) and rewards (the treat/toy). However, there are some potential problems with the Switch Witch tradition as well.

First, some kids may feel disappointed or cheated if they don't get as much candy as their friends. Second, theSwitch Witch can end up becoming a tool for parents to control their kids' sugar intake instead of allowing the kids to figure it out themselves. Lastly, some kids may simply refuse to give up their candy, leading to more detrimental relationships with sugar.

If you're thinking of starting the Switch Witch tradition in your own family, here are a few tips to make it a success:

1. Talk to your kids about why you're doing it. Explain that you want to help them eat healthier and experience the best parts of halloween - the dressing up and collecting candy.

2. Set realistic expectations. Don't promise them a something incredibly expensive if they give up all their candy; a small toy or treat for a good sized portion of candy would be great.

3. Let them choose what candy they want to keep and what they're willing to part with. This will help them feel more in control of the situation. Perhaps treat the candy like cash: they have worked to earn it, now they can spend what they want in the hopes of getting a better reward.

4. Finally, be prepared for some resistance! Not every kid is going to be on board with giving up their candy. Just do your best and remember that you're doing it for their health and wellbeing. Don't force it!

The Switch Witch is a fun and easy way to encourage healthy eating habits in kids—and learn a lesson about work, money and spending! If you're thinking of starting the tradition in your own family, just remember to set realistic expectations, let your kids have some control over the process, and be prepared for resistance!

And now, I have prepared another rant about sugar - this time more structured. (how's that for a smooth transition?) Below the video is the usual transcription, but before that is a list of titles of the research I found. Most come up on google scholar, but if not you can find them in SciHub!

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Research Titles:

  • Sugar addiction: is it real? A narrative review.

  • The Evidence for Saturated Fat and for Sugar Related to Coronary Heart Disease.

  • Sugar Industry and Coronary Heart Disease ResearchA Historical Analysis of Internal Industry Documents.

  • Stroke and nutrition: a review of studies

  • High-sugar diets, type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer's disease

  • Dietary sugar intake and risk of Alzheimer's disease in older women

  • Dietary sugar and colon cancer

  • Consumption of sugar and sugar-sweetened foods and the risk of pancreatic cancer in a prospective study

  • Dietary Sugar Intake in the Aetiology of Biliary Tract Cancer

  • Dietary sugar and lung cancer: A case‐control study in Uruguay

  • Sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and incidence of breast cancer: the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra (SUN) Project

  • Linking What We Eat to Our Mood: A Review of Diet, Dietary Antioxidants, and Depression

Dr. Kathryn King ND (00:01):

Good morning, Dr. Kathryn King here and welcome to the other side of my living room. Today I would like to talk just a little bit more about sugar because tomorrow is Halloween and then I swear after this I'll drop it for at least two months a month, I don't know, a while. Um, okay, so if you look at the post that I posted or just the picture that's in this blog post, I went through and found a few different countries and a few different dates. They're, uh, uh, leading causes of death every year. Okay. And I mean, it's almost always the same. Yes, COVID 19 snuck in there, uh, a few years ago, but before that it's usually cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's, um, strokes, accidents and suicides. These all seem to come up quite a bit. So this morning I went through and tried to find research for all of those to see if we could link sugar to them.

Dr. Kathryn King ND (01:05):

And I found some interesting things. So some of it's quite straightforward, like obviously type two diabetes is related to sugar consumption. That's basically all it is. Um, but some of the more interesting ones, uh, cardiovascular disease. This one I think was kind of my favorite. It's a little bit conspiratorial, but I like it. So in the fifties, research started coming out that both fat and sugar were responsible for cardiovascular disease. So the Sugar Research Foundation funded a study and then a review was published saying, No, no, no, no, it's just fat, basically. But it wasn't disclosed that the Sugar Research Foundation was behind this study. So we just kinda ran with it for like 40, 45 years and blamed cardiovascular disease on fat. Cuz it does raise certain types of fat, but it actually doesn't raise the types of fat in your body that cause cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Kathryn King ND (02:05):

Guess what sugar does? So in the past 10 years, we've been doing a lot more research and realized sugar is causing cardiovascular disease between cardiovascular disease and cancer. These are always the top two cancer. I found research for all different types of cancer, possibly being caused by sugar. Certain types of sugar were worse. Very interesting. Lactose, the sugar found in milk products, uh, seems to be a little bit more tied into being cancer causing. So I mean, if you know me, you know that I'm like, yes, like milk is bad. Um, other things are a little, I mean obviously accidents are not gonna be caused by sugar. Uh, but suicide now this is fine. Maybe a little bit of stress. There's obviously no like sugar and suicide, uh, research directly. However, there's decent research about sugar

Dr. Kathryn King ND (02:59):

Being wildly addictive and that if you are addicted to sugar as a child, uh, it's the same pathways, it's the same reward pathways that get triggered by drugs. So there does seem to be a bit more of a likelihood of sugar addicts becoming drug addicts as well. Uh, there's research about sugar and mood, sugar and depression specifically. So I mean, if, I mean it's okay, fine, I'm like connecting dots here, but like really, um, sugar's not great. Okay. And I'm not just saying this like I know, I think you all know also how I feel about research. We can't just like glom onto it because obviously it changes and different things come out all the time. But I feel like, like observationally plus there is a good amount, like a large amount of research connecting sugar to all these leading causes of death in our, in Canada and the United States for a very long time.

Dr. Kathryn King ND(03:56):

So that's pretty interesting. Um, so again, tomorrow's Halloween and the article or the blog I wrote today is a little bit about the switch switch. I don't know if it's the greatest idea. I don't know exactly what to do. The intuitive eaters have a point, you know, if you don't let your kids binge on sugar and barf it up, then maybe they'll just crave it constantly because they're not allowed to have it. This is a thought. So, I mean, it's something to think about, but like we need to figure out, we can't change the entire world around us. So how do we learn to moderate a wildly addictive substance, uh, in our society and more specifically with our kids? Well with your kids cuz I don't have kids, which is why I'm the perfect parent. Uh, but yeah, so this is something that I feel like we really need to start talking about because it's not just gonna make you fat and cause cavities. It does so many other things. I.

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