As a kid at some point, you or one of your friends may have wondered how much candy to eat, you know, to die. Curiosity overwhelmed us, so we decided to do some digging to crack this horrific little mystery.
How do you even begin to answer a question like this? Well, the first stop on the trip is to visit the LD50 tables. For the uncommon, LD50 stands for “Theethal DrWanted goose to kill 50% of the test group’ is usually expressed as a dose per unit weight.
Most of our LD50 measurements were extrapolated from mouse models to humans (where it would be unethical, understandably, to perform the tests on humans). We assure you: no one forcibly fed Hansel and Gretel candy during the research phase of this article.
The LD50 of sugar, in the form of simple glucose, is 30 grams of sugar (taken orally) per 1 kg of body weight. Kilogram ~ 2.205 lbs. The average woman in the United States weighs 170.6 pounds and the average male weighs 197.9 pounds. Let’s round up and down, respectively, to say that the average person, in general, is 180 pounds.
At 180 pounds, you would have to consume 2,449 grams of pure sugar in one sitting to reach the LD50 for your body weight. If you want to calculate a specific amount based on your weight and the candy of your choice, use this formula:
((lbs/2.205) * 30) / (grams of sugar per serving of your favorite candy) = LD50 Number of servings
Back to our average joe though. What does the LD50 of sugar look like when translated into popular Halloween candy? To reach the expected lethal dose, you would have to eat:
- candy corn: 1670 pieces
- M&M Candy: 2,552 pieces
- Sneakers (small size): 545 pieces
- Milky Way (small size): 299 pieces
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup (Regular Size): 234 individual cups
- Pixy Stix (Standard Size): 1143 lollipop
I felt compelled to end the list with the Pixy Stix because my friend Jake and I several decades ago, after eating bags of the stuff, thought exactly how many Pixy Stix it would take to kill us. We didn’t sleep, but we definitely freaked out. So awful.
Which brings us to the true moral of the death by candy story: Good luck figuring out a way to eat 1,670 candy corn bars or 1,143 flavored sugar straws fast enough not to decide, along the way, that seeing another day (and a more sensible diet) isn’t it The best option.