A woman in Fargo, N.D., plans to hand out letters to the parents of children she deems “moderately obese” this Halloween in lieu of candy.
"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 woman, identified only as Cheryl, told radio station WRIG earlier this week.
Cheryl provided the radio station with a copy of the letter.
“You are probably wondering why your child has this note; have you ever heard the saying, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’?” the letter asks. “I am disappointed in ‘the village’ of Fargo Moorhead, West Fargo.”
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“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,” she writes. “My hope is that you will step up as a parent and ration candy this Halloween and not allow you child to continue these unhealthy eating habits.”
An expert told Valley News Live that the letter could be more damaging to children than helpful.
"It's just that kind of thing that for some kids, if they're vulnerable, might trigger major problems," said Dr. Katie Gordon, a North Dakota State University assistant professor of clinical psychology who study eating disorder.
She said the healthy weight of a child should be left to pediatricians and parents.
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"That's not something that someone can judge – the health of someone – just by looking at them. I think that's the main thing," Dr. Gordon said.
"Even if a child is overweight, they might be very healthy because of what they eat and how they exercise," she added. "It's ineffective anyway because it's not likely to help the kid," she says.