How Much Candy Would Kill You?

This week Reactions is looking at the chemistry of Halloween candy, and how much of it can kill you. Ah, sweet, sugary, science!

For those of you out there who want to figure out the oral LD50 for yourself fill in the variable “W” with your own weight in pounds:



Post your results down in the comments. Happy Halloween!

Reality check: Experts agree that you’d never be able to ingest enough candy to hit the LD50 of sucrose in humans (since you have to eat it all at once, which you wouldn’t be able to do without vomiting). Also, the average person in the U.S. eats candy about 2-3 times per week. As with everything, moderation is key!

Find us on all these places:

Writer & Producer:
Kirk Zamieroski

Executive Producer:
Adam Dylewski

Scientific consultants:
Hans Plugge, Ph.D.
Kyle Nackers
Alison Le


Sucrose LD50 –

NCA Candy Consumption Habit surveys –

2016 Halloween Sales Estimates by NRF –

AHA Suggested Added Sugars Per Day –

AHA Scientific Statement –

CDC Average American –

Average intake of Americans –

How the Body Breaks Sugar down –

A brief history of Sucrose and what it does ot the body -

Adypocytes & Obesity –

Sugars and Obesity –

Nutrition of Most Popular Halloween Candies –

Glycogen storage –

Sugar in Candy corn –

Compound Chem LD50 –

Forbes Infographic of Sugar Consumption –

Ever wonder why dogs sniff each others’ butts? Or how Adderall works? Or whether it’s OK to pee in the pool? We’ve got you covered: Reactions a web series about the chemistry that surrounds you every day.

Reactions is produced by the American Chemical Society.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *