There’s this mom in Fargo, North Dakota who is choosing to remain anonymous while handing out an “obesity letter” to trick or treaters tomorrow night. While I love the idea of rallying parents to go candy free on Halloween, I think her approach and tactics are way out of line.
Found via Twitter, here is a copy of the letter “anony-mom” is distributing in lieu of candy on Halloween.
In a radio interview, she said the purpose is to “send a message to the parents of the kids that are really overweight.” Tweet us – What do you think?
The CDC cites one-third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese, with 70 percent of youth presenting at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease. So the likelihood of a child who is definitively overweight receiving this letter is high. But is it this woman’s place to call it out?
How do we know if she’s even qualified to make such blind assessments? She won’t sign the letter, nor reveal her identity (which is a whole other thing I take issue with), so we can’t look in to her background, education, or resume. We’re going to wager a guess that she’s not a dietitian, doctor, or related profession.
I’m kind of obsessed with both good health and proper English, so I don’t know if I’m more irritated by her brazen attempt to shame a bunch of neighborhood kids or her complete lack of editing to catch the errant typos, punctuation, and grammar mistakes.
And while her letter may be sent with the best of intentions, her delivery is all wrong. We can’t shame, we have to educate. We have to be supportive. Why not hand out oranges or apples with a small kitschy note that says something like “An apple a day keeps childhood obesity away! This year, in light of the declining health of our children, I’m sharing fruit instead of the junk that is Halloween candy in an effort to remind everyone that the treats don’t have to be bad for us. Let’s work together to help our kids!”.
She’d likely still be mocked and get hard hit with a few dozen eggs, but there would be some substance to her save-the-village antics. She wouldn’t look like a judgmental, holier-than-thou witch, either.
This mom was quoted as saying it’s irresponsible for parents to send their overweight children out “looking for free candy just because all the other kids are doing it.”
A few questions I’m left with include, does she have children? How healthy are they? What’s her current weight and health status? And again, what sort of credentials does the woman with the soon-to-be most famously egged house in history carry?