Halloween obese letters will be dropped into the trick-or-treat bags of children “deemed moderately” obese by one Fargo, N.D. homeowner, reports USA Today, hours before children hit the streets to demand candy of their neighbors.
The concerned woman, who did not or would not identify herself, said she simply wants to “send a message to the parents of kids that are really overweight. 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.”
Her letter to children that she feels are overweight, reads, in part:
“Your 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.”
As one might imagine, her one-woman stand against childhood obesity is causing quite the outcry. While her motivation may be sincere, her means are being questioned as much more than just a Halloween drag-me-down.
USA Today reports that Katie Gordon, A North Dakota State University assistant professor of clinical psychology, feels the letter could be more emotionally damaging and outweigh any helpful message meant to inspire children or their parents.
“It's just that kind of thing that for some kids, if they're vulnerable, might trigger major problems,” Gordon said. “Even if a child is overweight, they might be very healthy because of what they eat and how they exercise. It's ineffective anyway because it's not likely to help the kid.”
Cardiologist David Smith, from Doylestown, Pa., disagreed, calling the letter a lesson in “tough love.”
“Giving candy to an obese child is like giving a cigarette to a person with emphysema,” Smith says. “It is giving a drink to an alcoholic. It is giving heroin to a drug addict.”
What are your thoughts? Is this woman doing a public service or is her home at risk for a severe toilet-papering job? Leave your comments below.