It’s almost Halloween, the time where children go out into their friendly neighborhoods for some trick-and-treat fun. This year, some children in the Fargo, ND area may be surprised that the trick is on them. One woman told a North Dakota radio station on Oct. 29 that she plans to hand out an “obesity letter,” in addition to Halloween candy, to those children she feels are “moderately obese.”
In early-morning interview with Playhouse Y94, a radio station in the Fargo, ND and Moorhead, MN area, the women offered this rationale for handing children letters instead of candy.
“I just want to send a message to the parents of kids that are really overweight,” she said. “I think it’s just really irresponsible of parents to send them out looking for free candy just ’cause all the other kids are doing it.”
The woman’s letter offers this message, filled with Halloween cheer, along with the Halloween candy to those children she views as obese:
You are probably wondering why your child has this note; have you heard the saying, ‘It takes a village to raise a child? I am disappointed in the ‘the village’ of Fargo, Moorhead, West Fargo.
You [sic] child is, in my opinion, moderately obese and should not be consuming sugar and treats to the extent of some children this Halloween season.
“My hope is that you will step up as a parent and ration candy this Halloween and not allow your child to continue these unhealthy eating habits.”
In her radio interview with Y94, the woman said the children who are given an obesity letter will also receive Halloween candy. She notes the Halloween obesity letter is addressed to the children’s parents.
Perhaps the call-in to the radio show is the real Halloween trick, a not-so-funny hoax. It’s hard to imagine anyone truly believes that handing out an obesity letter instead of candy will accomplish anything other than embarrassing the children who she deems deserve the letter.
Even if the woman has good intentions, an anonymous letter sent to shame parents may not have the intended effect. Fargo news outlet Valley Live News quotes North Dakota State University Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology Dr. Katie Gordon, who studies eating disorders, as noting such an action can do more harm than good.
It’s just that kind of thing that for some kids, if they’re vulnerable, might trigger major problems,” Dr. Gordon told Valley Live News.
The woman also remains anonymous, identified only as Cheryl, and it’s hard to imagine she’ll want to identify herself as word of her Halloween plans have gone viral and with largely negative reactions to her plans.
What do you think of this woman’s decision to call attention to the issue of childhood obesity by giving letters to those kids she decides are moderately obese? Respond in comments section below.
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