A woman in Fargo, North Dakota, is stirring the cauldron this Halloween by sending home letters about obesity to kids she believes are overweight.
The woman, who identified herself as Cheryl, called into WDAY's Y-94 FM Morning Playhouse radio program on Wednesday, said she will give out the scolding letter, directed at the parents.
"It's just these, these kids, I can see them and they're struggling to stay healthy and they want to play with the other kids and I think it's really irresponsible as parents to sort of send them out looking for free candy just cause all the other kids are doing it," Cheryl told the radio station.
Still, she said she doesn't intend to deny candy to any of the kids. She just wants to add the letter to get some parents thinking.
"Parents should take more responsibility for their kids, they're becoming little fat kids. You know, they're probably going to be teased at school," she added.
She was grilled by the radio host, who asked, "Why is it your business as to how these people parent their kids?"
Cheryl said the children in any community "are everybody's kids. It's a whole village."
In the unsigned letter, she writes: “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.
"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.”
Winnipegger Trina Larsen called the woman's actions a bad way to treat children on a night that is supposed to be fun. Being mean won't help children become healthy, she said.
"I think it's terrible. I think that shaming children into feeling worse about their bodies does not accomplish anything," she said.
Lindsey Mazur, a registered dietician at the Women's Health Clinic in Winnipeg, echoed that stance. The letter is abusive and could damage a child's self esteem, she said.
"I was horrified and felt really awful for any kid that could potentially be receiving such a letter. The intent is not about health, it's very shaming," she said.