It's bad enough when you get raisins, apples or toothbrushes on Halloween. But one woman is taking the "no candy" gift to new extreme. She's handing out written letters, but only to children she deems as "obese."
The unidentified Fargo, N.D. woman tells Y94, "I just want 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."
The letter states: "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."
North Dakota State University assistant professor of clinical psychology Katie Gordon told Valley News Live in Fargo that the letter could be more emotionally damaging than helpful.
Gordon says, "It's just that kind of thing that for some kids, if they're vulnerable, might trigger major problems. 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."
About 4% of all candy consumed in this country occurs Halloween says Harry Balzer, the chief industry analyst for the NPD Group, which does market research on eating trends.
Almost every child in the USA will have candy on Halloween, and about half of the adults will eat some, he says. That compares to 24% of all adults and kids who have candy on a typical day, he says.