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Web Extra: Too Fat for Candy

A Fargo, North Dakota woman stated her intentions to take childhood obesity into her own hands during a Y-94 radio interview the morning of Oct. 29.
KVLY -- A Fargo, North Dakota woman stated her intentions to take childhood obesity into her own hands during a Y-94 radio interview the morning of Oct. 29.

She has decided to give a letter instead of candy to Halloween trick or treaters that she feels are "moderately obese."

"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," says the author in a Y-94 morning radio interview.

That's where the letter first surfaced and started to spread through social media.

"They were chatting today and got a call from Cheryl out of the blue who really wanted to voice her opinion about obesity and that it really takes an entire community to solve the obesity challenge," says Y-94 Program and Music Director JT.

"I'm contributing to their health problems and really, their kids are everybody's kids. It's a whole village," says the letter's author in the interview.

NDSU Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology Dr. Katie Gordon studies eating disorders and says that children and adolescents in particular are very conscious of fitting in with peers. She says the letter might hurt more than help.

"It's just that kind of thing that for some kids, if they're vulnerable, might trigger major problems,"she says.

Dr. Gordon leaves the matter of an individual child's weight to his or her parents and pediatrician. She says that one should be careful to judge by another's appearance and doesn't believe the letter will have the desired effect.

"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," says Dr. Gordon. "It's ineffective anyway because it's not likely to help the kid," she says.
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