This year for Halloween I’m handing out candy to all the kids in my neighborhood. Unfortunately, not everyone shares my excitement for this same activity.
A woman in North Dakota has decided to take control of childhood obesity on her own by handing out the following letter to children she deems at least moderately obese.
You’ve got to be kidding me. Way to take the fun out of something.
Also, do people not realize shame does not always jumpstart weight loss in people?
Adults sometimes like to ruin Halloween for kids by handing out dental floss or healthy snacks (though sometimes that’s a good thing). I always used to hate houses that anything besides my favorite candy. But sending a letter home with trick-or-treaters? That’s a new level of Halloween hate.
On her local radio station she tried to explain her motives:
“I just want to send a message to the parents of kids that are really overweight…” she told Y94 morning radio, via ValleyNewsLive.com. “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 and really, their kids are everybody’s kids. It’s a whole village,” she adds.
I understand the concern with childhood obesity. It’s definitely a problem. I became obese at a young age and still have weight problems, so I agree that stopping it early can really help children live better lives. But does a stranger punishing and shaming kids on a holiday that’s purely for fun the best way to achieve meaningful change?
It seems like something that would hurt kids rather than help them change the every day habits that led to their obesity.
“It’s just that kind of thing that for some kids, if they’re vulnerable, might trigger major problems,” said NDSU Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology Dr. Katie Gordon who studies eating disorders.
Dr. Gordon says people should be careful to judge by appearance and should leave the matter of an individual child’s weight to his or her parents and pediatrician. In her opinion the letter this woman plans to hand out will not have the desired effect.
If you feel strongly about not wanting to give kids candy then DON’T GIVE KIDS CANDY! Don’t bring a lecture or fat shaming into a situation that you have no business being in. They are kids. No reason to scar them with your personal agenda against obesity – just don’t participate in halloween.
What’s your opinion on this letter? Or Halloween and candy giving in general? Do you participate? Would you ever hold back candy from kids you felt didn’t “deserve” it because of their weight?
Source: valleynewslive.com, HT: consumerist
Wow. That’s just rude. If that had happened to me as a kid, I would have ended up going for as long as I could without eating and then binge eating all the candy. There needs to be a better way.
Aubrey Leigh says
OMG! That is so horrible. I have no doubt she thought she was helping, but that is not the way to do it. How tragic. Those kids are going to end up in therapy.
There is a says that it’s not what you eat between Christmas and new years eve that makes you fat, but what you eat between new years eve and Christmas. I would think the say could be said about Halloween. Even if I’m not a fan of Halloween, I would never spoil it for the kids.
I think she shouldn’t give out candy if she has a problem. Skinny children should probably not eat candy either. Ruining an annual event aimed at children is just mean. I don’t see her letter as helpful at all. I used to give out candy but not this year but that is because the neighborhood kids in my town are rude and imo, don’t deserve candy. Lol.
That seems like an awful thing to do to a child. I heard about kind of a fun tradition that parents who want to limit their children’s candy intake can try: the Switch Witch. She’s a friendly witch who only eats candy, and she is willing to trade. Let the kids select a certain number of their favorite candies to keep, then leave the remainder on the porch near the jack o’lantern (if you have one). During the night, the witch comes to pick up the candy and leaves a fun toy in its place. You could even leave an active toy like a football or jump rope if you really want to encourage healthy activities. This way the kids get to trick or treat, they learn that you really only need a few of the “best” pieces, and you can happily exchange the candy for something more fun that will last longer. To me, helping children develop healthy eating habits and a love of being active is a responsibility of the parents, not the lady next door!
Definitely a cute idea! I think parents should definitely do something to control the amount of candy kids bring home – it’s insane how much candy they can get and binge on at once.
I saw this today and my thought is this woman believes she is entitled to point out others faults .And people should be happy that she’s here to help. After all, if she didn’t point out flaws, who would help us? But I bet she wouldn’t be so grateful if folks pointed out some of her flaws.
This is a judgment. It isn’t even unsolicited advice.
I agree that this letter defeats the purpose and is counterproductive to its’ suppossed intent. Maybe she just wanted her 15 minutes in the spot light – bet her house gets egged. I wonder if she was an obese kid? I wonder if she is obese now? I just don’t understand why she thinks it is okay to pass judgment and why it is up to her to do it?
Who knows? So many questions. I guess I just don’t get her at all.
She’s nuts. I hope she gets nothing but tricks and her home is boycotted by trick or treaters.