Topics: Data Analysis, Minitab

Halloween is rapidly approaching. According to National Retail Federation statistics 69% of you plan to celebrate Halloween and spend \$100 on treats and tricks. Last-minute candy shopping? Here is a list of the top 5 types of candy to hand out to the ghouls on your doorstep.

And of course, you must plan your daily candy consumption to match the limits on free sugar recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The guideline says that no more than 10 percent of your calories should come from free sugars and that you can achieve increased health benefits by keeping the number below five percent. If you’re a good nutrition tracker, that should be no problem for you. For those of you looking for more general suggestions, we’re going to make a scatterplot in Minitab that should provide a helpful reference.

The USDA last published their dietary guidelines in 2020. Appendix 2 contains calorie estimates based on age, gender and activity level, rounded to the nearest 200 calories. Multiply those levels by 0.05 to get an estimate of your recommended sugar limit in calories. To change that into grams that you can find on candy labels, we’ll assume that sugar has 4 calories per gram. and activity level, rounded to the nearest 200 calories. Multiply those levels by 0.05 to get an estimate of your recommended sugar limit in calories. To change that into grams that you can find on candy labels, we’ll assume that sugar has 4 calories per gram.

Now, if we create the default graph in Minitab we get something a bit like this. Note the symbols crammed together along each line:

Let’s be honest, pushing all those symbols together to show a line with no variation looks a bit silly. But switch to graph editing mode and you can take care of those in no time:

Without the symbols on the graph, the lines and the differences between them are clearer, especially when the lines are closest together during the early phase when people grow rapidly.

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In closing....

Much has been made of the fact that the five percent WHO guideline is less than the sugar in a can of soda, so Halloween can be a treacherous time for someone who wants to limit their sugar intake.

On another note, what do you do if your ghost or goblin brings home more candy than they want or need? Natalie Silverstein offers some suggestions about how to make your candy do some good for others.