I woke up to over 500 readers who let me know about a woman in North Dakota who has taken it upon herself to visually identify children as “moderately obese” and, instead of the candy she is giving to other children, giving them letters to their parents stating, in part,
Your 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.
So first it can’t be said early or often enough that tactics like this don’t make kids thinner or healthier (two separate things). Let’s remember that we don’t know how to make fat kids thin, and the untested “interventions” that have been launched actually are now being shown to lead to eating disorders but not to thinner, or healthier, kids.
One wonders how she can determine body weight with all that costume attached (and, it’s freaking cold in North Dakota so many of the children will wear costumes over many layers of clothing, including (at least when I was a kid living in Montana) snow pants and parkas.
My heart is ripping open and crying for the kids who will have their Halloween ruined by this – especially since I’m concerned that other adult bullies will choose to follow in her footsteps.
One wonders why she used the term “moderately obese” and what that means to her. Do kids who are, in her completely unqualified opinion, severely obese get candy? Or does she just shoot them to put them out of her misery?
If she wants to talk to parents, why doesn’t she actually do that? Follow the fat ones home to give the letter to their parents, chase after the school bus and at least try to be a respectable busybody, judgmental, bully.
Since she – as an amateur doctor, nutritionist, child psychologist, parenting expert and psychic with the ability to diagnose health issues, and know kids eating behaviors by looking at them in a costume for 10 seconds at her doorstep – is such an expert on health, why not dole out snacks that she thinks are healthy for all kids? Isn’t she afraid that the candy that she hands out to kids who she does not deem “moderately obese” might *gasp* make them fat and thus deserving of her fat bullying letter next year.
For those (like one cardiologist interviewed about this [trigger warning for unsubstantiated obesity panic, and incompetent doctor being quoted]) who say that giving a fat kid candy is like giving heroin to a heroin addict – what the hell is wrong with you? A fat body size does not constitute an addiction at all, nor a specific candy addiction, and If you think that candy and heroin are comparable then you probably shouldn’t be allowed to be a doctor anymore. This line of argument is completely ridiculous.
Also, why be anonymous? If you are proud of your actions, then stand behind them with your name. She’ll know that I stand behind what I’ve said here because I put my name on it, despite hate mail and death threats. She’s so interested in children experiencing what she believes are the consequences of their actions, she should experience the consequences of hers.
Fat kids aren’t in need of “tough love” and even if they were, this isn’t it. When we make assumptions about people because of the way that they look, that’s not “love” it’s bigotry. When we treat one group worse than another because of the way that they look, that’s not “love” (tough or otherwise), it’s bullying. Fat kids don’t need bigotry and bullying from strangers making guesses about their health and eating habits on any day, let alone a holiday they’ve probably been excited about for months.
If you are a fat kid reading this, I’m truly sorry that there bullying jerks in the world. I wrote you a letter here if you are interested.
EDIT: There are several people saying that this is a hoax. If so, it’s a good hoax that’s been reported in most major media outlets. That said, if it is a hoax I’m happy, but still concerned that others will read about it and think that it’s a good idea – so even if it’s a hoax, I’ll let this post stand as a message to any of those folks.
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