A North Dakota woman is doing something most unusual this Halloween season. Instead of treats, she is giving letters addressed to the parents of visibly obese children who come trick-or-treating at her door. The woman, identified only as Cheryl, called in to radio station WRIG to inform them of what she plans to do.The letters read, in part:
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 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 and parent and ration candy this Halloween and not allow your child to continue these unhealthy eating habits.
Now, doing something like this raises all kinds of questions about appropriateness, especially when we live in a weight- obsessed society riddled with eating disorders that are striking at younger and younger ages. However, we also live in a country that has a huge childhood obesity- and overall obesity- problem. So, is what this woman did wrong or right? Well, either way, she says she did it with good intentions. Cheryl says of the letters:
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.
Well, the road to hell was paved with good intentions, I guess. After the news of this obviously well- intentioned plan spread around, NDSU Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology Dr. Katie Gordon, who studies eating disorders as a specialty, was asked about this activity and the potentially harmful consequences it could have. She said:
It’s just that kind of thing that for some kids, if they’re vulnerable, might trigger major problems.
That’s not something that someone can judge- the health of someone- just by looking at them. I think that’s the main thing. Even if a child is overweight, they might be very healthy because of what they eat and how they exercise,” Gordon said. “It’s ineffective anyway because it’s not likely to help the kid.
In other words, lady, you’re likely doing more harm than good here. If you have that big a problem with fat kids eating candy on Halloween, don’t give out candy to trick-or-treaters at all. Problem solved.
About the Author / Shannon Barber
Shannon Barber is a self- described queer feminist and activist for LGBT rights, women’s rights, and secular rights in America. She is a lifelong lover of words, though her educational background is in computer science. She currently writes for 3 liberal websites, and keeps her own Humor Blog for lesbians. She hopes to change the world, one mind at a time.