Talk about a party pooper…
While children move about in North Dakota this evening, costumes on and hopes high for their favorite candy to come in bulk in their bags, one woman will be trying to spread the message that child obesity is a real problem. Instead of handing out candy, she plans to hand out letters to children SHE considers “moderately obese” in the hopes that they’ll take it home to their parent and take a step back on all the candy. Here’s what she says:
“I just want to send a message to the parents of kids that are really overweight,” the anonymous woman said in an interview with Y-94 in Fargo. “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…I’m contributing to their health problems [by giving candy] and really, their kids are everybody’s kids. It’s a whole village.”
The woman, who wouldn’t share her full name but calls herself Cheryl, has a full letter typed out and ready, which says the following:
Happy Halloween and Happy Holidays Neighbor!
You are probably wondering why your child has this note; have you ever heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child”? I am disappointed in the “the village” of Fargo Moorhead, West Fargo.
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.
While she might have good intentions, her delivery definitely isn’t the best (and she must know that since it’s an anonymous letter). Such a move is getting a mixed reaction from folks around the country.
In an interview with USA Today, David Smith, a cardiologist in Doylestown, Pa felt she was doing a good thing and that people really do need to address the health of their children, especially on a day set aside for scarfing down on unhealthy treats:
“I think it’s a tough-love letter. Eating disorders are a problem but the magnitude of that risk just pales in comparison to obesity. Obesity in the last decade has taken over smoking as the leading health problem we face today. Giving candy to an obese child is like giving a cigarette to a person with emphysema.”
But Eve Vawter of Mommyish thinks “Cheryl” is going a bit too far.
“I can understand if you are that weird and concerned about kid’s weight maybe handing out boxes of raisins or bags of carrot sticks or something. I can see MAYBE hanging a sign on your door that reads ‘I will not be handing out candy this year.’ But to fat-shame little kids who come to your door trick or treating? That’s a whole other level of evil. Way to make all the kids feel like garbage, lady.”
It’s all very interesting. But all I can think of is the idea of a child going to this woman’s house with his/her friends on Halloween, and while they get a handful of candy, she’s going to hand them a letter and sternly say ‘Give this to your parent.’ How embarrassing is that? She might want to rethink her whole strategy, because while she might think that she’s doing the right thing, she’s going about it the wrong way. But what do you think?