Halloween Grinch hands out obesity letters to trick-or-treaters

An American woman has spoken out about her plan to give out letters, instead of lollies, to children she deems to be overweight at Halloween.

The woman, known only as Cheryl, rang radio station Y-94 in Fargo, North Dakota, and said that some children coming to her door would get a sealed envelope, labeled 'Give To Your Parents', with a letter inside it.

"Happy Halloween and Happy Holidays Neighbor!" the letter begins. 

"You are probably wondering why your child has this note; have you ever heard the saying, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’? I am disappointed in ‘the village’ of Fargo Moorhead, West Fargo.

"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 and parent and ration candy this Halloween and not allow your child to continue these unhealthy eating habits."

When she called the station, Cheryl said that she wanted to make a change to the children of the neighbourhood. 

"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," she said on-air.

Experts have criticised her plan, saying it will only make the children feel bad about themselves while not doing anything productive.

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Clinical psychologist Dr Kathryn Berry, from the Quirky Kid clinic, recently said that addressing weight and shape directly with a child should be avoided as it can have a negative impact on their self esteem.

When talking to a child about their weight she says a "supportive, gentle approach is best”, as bluntly telling a child they are fat can do a lot of damage to their already fragile self-esteem.

"If you are going to make comments about their weight, chances are they are already feeling bad about themselves so it just exacerbates their negative feelings," Dr Berry told Essential Kids.

"When a child is obese that can have a major impact on how they feel about themselves and how they interact with others. It can reduce self esteem and affect their friendships and competency at school," she says.

View the full letter in our gallery.

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