America's Sweet Tooth: A Checkup24:03

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Trick or treat. But what about the sweets? We look at obese America’s relationship with candy. See some classic ads below...

Credit: AP Photo
Credit: AP Photo

The costumes are ready, and the bags are set to be filled. It is nearly Halloween, and on Sunday the candy will rain down like a hailstorm.

It wasn’t always candy. Go back 50 years, and the treats at the door were as likely to be nuts, coins, fruit, little toys.  Then, candy took over.

Samira Kawash calls herself the “candy professor." She’s looked at a century and more of American candy-making and marketing and eating. It’s always been a loaded subject, she says. And it’s loaded now. 
-Tom Ashbrook

Samira Kawash, a.k.a. the “Candy Professor." She's professor emerita of English and gender studies at Rutgers University. She blogs at

David Kessler, pediatrician, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, and author of "The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite."

This program aired on October 29, 2010.