It won't be a very happy Halloween for some unsuspectingchildren in Fargo, N.D. this year.
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A woman who identified herself as "Cheryl" told morning radio show Y94 that she plans to dole out "fat letters" to "moderately obese" trick-or-treaters Thursday night to inform them of the dangers of being overweight. Cheryl decided to opt for the informative letters instead of handing out fruit or granola bars because, in her words, parents need to "step up."
"You(r) 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."
But the blunt letter could do more harm than good, according toNorth Dakota State University assistant professor of clinical psychology Katie Gordon, who told Valley News Live in Fargo:"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."
David Smith, a cardiologist in Doylestown, Pa., told USA Today that he thinks the woman is doing a public service.
"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," said Smith.
"Giving candy to an obese child is like giving a cigarette to a person with emphysema... It is giving a drink to an alcoholic. It is giving heroin to a drug addict."