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Dear Mean-Halloween-Note Lady

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Halloween NoteI read a story at www.today.com about a lady that will be passing out special notes to children that she deems as “moderately obese”.  I would like to address this post to her:

Dear Mean-Halloween-Note Lady:

It seems you have noticed that some of the children in your area are “moderately obese”.  It also appears that you have taken it upon yourself to encourage parents to “step up” and take care of the problem.  When I first read about this, I would have expected to be outraged.  Instead, I am just sad.

Here is an excerpt from your letter:

“Your child, in my opinion, is moderately obese and should not be consuming sugar and treats to the extent of some children this Halloween season.”

I think that we can all agree that childhood obesity is a problem, and it is one that has serious consequences.  I don’t have an issue with that point at all.  However, all I can think about is the poor children that may be receiving your note in their Trick-or-Treat buckets this Halloween.

Being overweight, especially as a child, cannot be an easy thing.  The chances are high that many of the “moderately obese” children that visit your house will be self-conscious about their weight.  Believe me, they know they are overweight.  I think it would be fair to assume that they already endure more than their fair share of teasing and ridiculing from their peers, and possibly their families.

Can you imagine how they are going to feel when they pull this note out of their bucket?  After they read it and imagine you (who is probably a perfect stranger) looking them over, comparing them to the other trick-or-treaters and deeming them unworthy of a piece or two of candy because they seem to weigh more than the others?

Yes, it is possible that they eat too much and do not exercise enough.   Consider also, that there truly are medical reasons that a person might be overweight.  Heredity might be a factor.  Poor parenting might be a factor.  There may be internal forces such as loneliness, insecurities,  or even depression at play.  Often being overweight is a vicious cycle that is difficult to break.

What I am trying to say is that your 15-second judgment and sentence is not going to fix that “moderately obese” child.  You are going to do more damage, and probably no good with that note.  You are going to hurt feelings and probably ruin Halloween for who know’s how many children.  Is it worth it?

If you are truly concerned about the children, why not offer a healthy treat, or non-food item, to ALL of the children?  They are all going to get more candy than they need, so why not offset that?  Hey, why not write a note of encouragement instead?

The point of my letter is this:  I pray that you will not pass out your note at all.  I beg you not to.  I can’t even begin to imagine why you would want to.  Show you truly care about these children by doing something special, not something mean.  Please?

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What do YOU think?