How Much Candy Do You Need To Eat Before It’s Lethal?

Experts say it’s fine to indulge, but there’s a point where too much candy can become lethal.

The American Chemical Society says you’d need to eat close to 262 pieces of fun-sized Halloween candy or 1,627 pieces of candy corn, and you’d need to eat it “pretty consecutively and literally shove pieces of candy corn in your mouth” in order for either to kill you. To calculate candy’s lethal quantities, the ACS used the oral LD50 (median lethal dose) of sugar, or sucrose, which is the quantity of a substance that’s lethal for 50 percent of the subjects in a test group. Sucrose’s LD50 is 13.5 grams per pound, and with the average person weighing 180 pounds, consuming 2,440 grams (or 5.4 pounds) of sugar can be lethal.

To calculate your own Halloween candy LD50, multiply your weight in pounds by 13.5 and divide by 9.3. For candy corn’s LD50, divide everything by 1.5. These equations are meant to be a fun guide, and researcher Hans Plugge says he doesn’t recommend anyone try eating candy quantities exceeding their LD50.

He adds that most people would not immediately die after eating so much candy, they would more likely get elevated blood sugar, or start vomiting. Additionally, he emphasized that the video is not meant to vilify candy, and that there is an LD50 for everything, even water, and the risk of death or illness depends on your exposure levels. 

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