Dentists offer Halloween candy buybacks to collect sweets for U.S. troops

If you’re still staring at a mountain of M&Ms and mini Snickers bars, consider taking some to a Halloween candy buyback program at a nearby dentist’s office. The sweet solution prevents kids (and parents) from eating too much and donates the booty to troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Here’s how the nationwide program works: Dentists who have registered with the program pay $1 per pound of candy brought to their offices. Dates of the nationwide buyback vary, but some dentists are accepting candy until Friday. To find a participating dentist, go to the Halloween Candy Buy Back website and enter your ZIP Code. (I tested this and found 18 dentists and one Pilates gym on the list within 15 miles of my Southern California home.)

Americans eat about 24 pounds of candy a year, most of it around Halloween, according to Reuters, and we don’t just mean kids.

The Baltimore Sun’s Picture of Health blog offers five tips on how to avoid the post-Halloween candy crush at the office (Hint: Eat breakfast before going to work), and Dr. Gourmet (Dr. Tim Harlan) offers his recommendations in the Chicago Tribune about how to indulge a bit without packing on the pounds.