- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 30, 2013

It’s not a trick — and there won’t be a treat.

A woman in Fargo, North Dakota, said in a radio interview Tuesday morning that she plans on handing out fat letters to kids she considers “moderately obese” instead of candy this Halloween.

“I just want to send a message to the parents of kids that are really overweight,” she told Y-94. “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.”

In the letter, the woman, identified only as Cheryl, tells parents that it takes a village to raise a child.

“I’m contributing to their health problems and really, their kids are everybody’s kids. It’s a whole village,” she told Y-94.

Dr. Katie Gordon, a North Dakota State University Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology, told ABC 13 that children are very conscious of fitting in with peers, and this letter might hurt more than help.

“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,” said Dr. Gordon. “It’s ineffective anyway because it’s not likely to help the kid.”

Reactions to the letter on ABC 13’s discussion thread on Facebook were largely negative.

“Nothing could make a kid feel worse about themselves than to be treated like they are ‘less’ than the other kids… pretty bad idea if you ask me!!!!” one commenter wrote.

“That’s just horrible!!! Kids have enough problems with self esteem without some uppity woman thinking she’s the ‘candy police.’ She needs to turn off her light and go away,” another commenter posted.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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