Trick or treat? It is Halloween with a twist for a woman in Fargo, North Dakota who decided to hand out notes telling parents that their kids are moderately obese. The woman who has identified herself "Cheryl" has sparked a social media debate by breaking the tradition.
Some people have called her a bully and some called her Halloween monster for handing out obesity notes, but according to the woman, she just wants to teach parents to be more responsible.
"You 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," the letter stated.
"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," said the woman in an interview with a local radio station..
However, Dr. Lynne Fiscus, a pediatrician in Minneapolis, has another opinion.
"Kids who are overweight and obese have a lot of self esteem issues and the last thing they need is to be treated differently on a fun kids' holiday because they are overweight. It doesn't work, its mean and it's cruel, so everybody, don't do this to the trick or treaters who come to your door, please," said Fiscus in an interview.
"We know when they come up with their own solutions they are much more likely to follow through them on them and have progress on behavior change, rather than when I am handing them a plan," Fiscus added.
The doctor suggested that instead of handing out sweets to trick-or-treaters, people can give out healthy snacks or other useful things.
According to CDC statistics, a third of children and adolescents in the United States can be considered overweight or obese in 2010. Childhood obesity has tripled for in adolescents and doubled in children in the last three decades.