My parents brought me a bag of cotton candy from the Saskatoon Exhibition the other day. I don't eat cotton candy that much, maybe because I've always assumed it is absolutely terrible for you and once I start eating it, I can't stop.
I stretched this bag out over about 3 days and yesterday actually had a look at the label on the bag. 28 g, ingredients: sugar, artificial flavour, food colouring.
28 g of sugar. That's real sugar, not glucose-fructose or high fructose corn syrup or any other artificial sweetener. Compared to 30 g in a Snickers bar, 32 g in a pack of Skittles, or just slightly more sugar than in a glass of fruit juice, 28 g isn't really that bad, is it? And food colouring, not Red Dye #7 or anything like that.
As for artificial flavour, check out this interesting article from Scientific American - while artificial flavours are indeed created with synthetic compounds, they are essentially a mix of the same compounds nature creates to make the flavour, but omitting the compounds that don't contribute to flavouring or aren't healthy to ingest. Artificial flavours are often safer than natural flavours AND better for the environment!
So a bag of cotton candy has about as much sugar as a glass of juice, no fat, and no creepy ingredients. My guess? Cotton candy is one of the most harmless carnival foods out there. Woooo!