No Halloween Candy for Fat Kids

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A woman in the U.S. has decided not to hand out Halloween candy to obese kids. Instead she’ll hand them a note to give to their parents:

The Huffington Post: North Dakota Woman May Be Giving “Fat Letters” Instead of Candy This Halloween

Of course she means well, but this may end up doing more harm than good. Should you give candy to lean kids and a note to obese kids in the same group? And should parents of obese kids really prevent them from trick-or-treating with their friends? Obese kids have enough to feel bad about already, as have their parents.

Here’s my suggestion. Give all kids something better than unhealthful sugary candy for Halloween (small toys, for example).

Parents of obese kids may help them by cleaning out the pantry, removing unnecessary sugar and rapidly-digested starchy foods. Present this as a good thing for the whole family, and the child doesn’t have to feel singled out. As a bonus the whole family will get healthier and leaner.

What do you think?

More

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A diet book for kids (!) and what it can teach us

44 comments

Top comments

  1. Lori Miller
    I give spare change to the kids. The kids love it and so do I.

    Some candy or birthday cake a few days out of the year isn't going to make a child overweight. But a nasty note could really hurt a child's feelings, and it isn't going to do a bit of good for either party. (A classic example of "stupid" for Dr. Eades's readers.)

    Reply: #41
    Read more →
  2. daniel b ferreira
    Im not even disgruntled that you took the time to spell check what I wrote. But going back to the real topic , people need stop blaming others.
    Read more →

All comments

  1. Liso66
    I have no words.... Those poor kids. Why not just hand out cheap little toys or something healthy! Way to go, lady! Traumatize some little kid!
  2. murray
    Yes, it is horrible to discriminate against non-obese children by plying them with toxic sugar, trying to make them sick. Why should only obese kids be spared the metabolic insult?

    Personally, I could not morally abide myself if I gave out sugar-and-trans-fat bars or other sucrose confections to children. So we give out Play-Doh. I compromise with my wife and allow her to give out small bags of potato chips to older kids. In my day we got apples from conscientious neighbors, but then Detroit happened.

  3. robert
    Halloween "candy" wouldn't be so bad, if it weren't the cheapest crap you can buy (i.e. pure sugar and fake chocolate).

    Why not hand out real dark chocolate or dark-chocolate pralines with a butter-cream filling (no sugar of course). Yes, these things cost a lot more.

    Oh, I forgot! The little ones have been conditioned to exclusively seek the sweet stuff. As we know, this problem goes much deeper.

  4. Lori Miller
    I give spare change to the kids. The kids love it and so do I.

    Some candy or birthday cake a few days out of the year isn't going to make a child overweight. But a nasty note could really hurt a child's feelings, and it isn't going to do a bit of good for either party. (A classic example of "stupid" for Dr. Eades's readers.)

    Reply: #41
  5. eddy
    Go to the dollar store {in the past these type of stores were five and dimes before inflation set in} and purchase party favors {whistles , stickies etc } and hand those out as treats.

    I do like the idea of a note or toony showing the ill effects of sugar and how that will come across will be determined by the presentation .

  6. fredt
    The first step in change is that they must care enough to be willing to do something. To move someone from precontemplation (aka happy the way we are) to contemplation (what do we want to be) will require much more that that note. That lady is opening up herself to a load of abuse. Oh well, life goes on.
  7. FrankG
    LOL, murray... a sad reflection on our times.

    In the USA isn't the phrase "trick or treat"? In other words no candy and I get to egg your house or some such mischief :-P

    Seriously this (on the face of it) sounds like an ill-conceived idea by a well-intentioned but misguided do-gooder. It will likely generate more harm than good in the end and I really hope the children don't end up wasting any decent free-range eggs on her! TP her house instead! :-P

    http://www.thefergusonfamily.net/pictures/IMG_2087%20%28Custom%29.JPG

    And I agree Dr Andreas... let the family lead by example.

  8. No
    I think that's its smug, superior and asinine. Not to mention it won't change any behavior and will likely offend the parents and discourage the kids. How cruel! I agree with the Doc. My wife and I buy little cheap toys like tatoos and such that the kids will like. You don't change people's minds by being a jerk. And let's be real: kids are not fat because of trick or treating. They are fat because of chronic over consumption of obesigenic foods like processed carbs and sugars. Some Paleo people (of which I am included) have a near hyper-religious enthusiasm which blinds them to reality. Candy does not make you fat and sick unless you chronically overdose on it. I hope this woman doesn't identify herself as Paleo. I would actually like to see more people join the movement.
  9. CH
    I, for one, will be passing out candy to trick-or-treaters. No one is obese or unhealthy because of one holiday (or three). This is part of my culture and heritage, and when my child is old enough, we will take her around to knock on doors for candy. Let's get rid of the stuff we know is actually making people sick (*daily* sugar) and not throw out a fun holiday because there's the slightest hint of sugar involved.

    Regarding the letter, I personally think it's fake. It's just so judgmental and truly none of her business. If she doesn't want to risk fat kids eating candy, then she should keep her light off and save her money. She's going to be in for a wild ride tonight otherwise!

  10. Karn
    This is a fake news story.
  11. Graham_LCHF
    100% agree with you.

    Don't blame the victims of our crazy food policies - especially kids.

    We (business, government, the general public etc.) have created a toxic food environment.

  12. Saara
    This was a hoax by a radio station. Now everyone is reporting it as news, smh.
  13. daniel ferreira
    even if this was true, she would be doing them a favor, people are too soft on emotional this or that, time to tell the truth and stop "sugar coatting" everything, if you're fat, you're fat. tell it how it is.

    now days everyone is "offended" by everything.

    Replies: #16, #21, #42
  14. martinus
    I give them 99% Lindt Chocolate. Hehe.
    Reply: #17
  15. murray
    In my neighborhood there are a lot of kids. Lots. We get 200-400 kids on Halloween, depending on the weather. Giving out toys would be too expensive. Our son used to go out and come back with literally bags of candy. I would say at least two pounds of sugar, possibly more. (Houses are close together in our neighborhood.) There is no way we would let him eat all that loot. What I did (he is not going out anymore) was go through and remove anything with trans fats as the first cut. That usually took out half the amount. Then we would haggle over the rest. I would let him keep Aero (chocolate without trans fat) for "free.". Then I would offer a price per item. If I didn't get enough I would raise the bid. All until he was reduced to a tolerable amount. Next day I would offer to buy the remainder. I suppose the net result was he dashed house to house the next year ... to earn more cash from Dad.
  16. Graham_LCHF
    I can see you're Mr. Empathy.

    Speaking of blaming the victim this article http://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2013/march/1361848247/karen-hitchc... (by a medical doctor) is so repulsive in its smugness and lack of sympathy as to be utterly grotesque.

    Buying the candy back from the kids is a good idea. They can still have their fun but without the sugar overload.

  17. robert
    One can only hope they don't throw it away.
  18. FrankG
    As I recall (and my son in now 23) when he went out, invariably he had a box to collect change for less privileged children - through UNICEF if memory serves :-)
  19. tz
    They could always give out tobacco products instead - equally unhealthy and addictive.

    Or heroin or methamphetamine - then wait for the children to return - Bwahahaha.

    Occasionally someone puts something like a razor blade or needle in something they give to the kids. The HFCS is merely slower at harm.

  20. Jan
    I would not be happy giving out notes to kids, or sweets to kids.
    Perhaps Lori's idea "I give spare change to the kids. The kids love it and so do I". works best.

    Here in the UK although some streets and areas appear to attract quite a few trick and treaters, other areas are quieter.

    Perhaps we just have to do what our conscience tells us.

    All the best Jan

  21. Lori Miller
    Mr. Ferreira, you have poor spelling and grammar. I'm just telling it like it is. Hope you're not offended!
    Reply: #24
  22. James Howell
    It is none of her %##$@^&%$# business. I'd be willing to bet my next paycheck she thinks it is perfectly fine to feed those obese kids whole-grain crap like bread, pasta, breakfast cereals, etc., while keeping them from eggs, butter, and bacon.

    If she is so against giving sugar to fat kids, why is she willing to give non-fat kids the candy? The sugar will do just as much harm to the "skinny" kids as it will to the fat kids.

    Her message would be palatable if she gave up her sanctimony and avoided giving candy to anyone. Her smugness is the worst part of this story.

  23. Steve
    I suspect the neighborhood kids will not be rationing the toilet paper and eggs in the coming weeks!

    It is not easy to insert your opinions into other families lives and this women is doing it wrong. In her defense there is rarely a correct way to do it.

  24. daniel b ferreira
    Im not even disgruntled that you took the time to spell check what I wrote. But going back to the real topic , people need stop blaming others.
  25. laza
    Hmm, would roasted chestnuts do the trick next year? Yes they are more Christmas/New Year type of deal but they are tasty to kids and do have a good amount of carbs, so may be a fine compromise.
  26. Barb
    we have made the decision not to participate in trick or treating.
  27. Joy
    The reason why the children are obese in the first place is the parents! Do not punish the children by making them more self conscious.
    Parents need to take responsibility for feeding them the wrong.
  28. DashTrash
    This story is fake. It was a radio call in by an actor paid for by the radio station. "Cheryl" doesn't exist and "Cheryl" will not actually be handing out this fake letter to kids. It's a hoax by a radio station.

    It is good to discuss healthy options for trick-or-treaters though.
    I have been Paleo for a year now and love it. Switched to LCHF last October. Halloween is my 1 year anniversary to healthy living.

  29. Jane
    It's a hoax but a good example of how some people, like Mr. Ferreira above, think. (And BTW, it didn't require spell check to see your errors.) I'm a sugar addict. I have been all my life. My brain chemistry fires all cylinders with sugar. I binged on sweet stuff when I was 5 yrs old. It wasn't because my parents weren't conscientious. In fact, *maybe* they were too conscientious, contributing to binges on the rare occasions I had access to junk.

    A note like this, or Mr Ferreira's attitude, is more likely to send me into a binge then curb my "appetite." With my brain chemistry, food is a consolation, as much as alcohol, nicotine, or narcotics are for other people. Before finding LCHF I had tried everything. I hadn't eaten red meat in years, or regular fat anything. I was very good according to the mainstream advice I'd received since being put on my first diet at age 7. I was utterly discouraged and these judgmental attitudes made me feel like it wasn't worth trying anymore, so why not eat a box of cookies since it made me feel better? Try compassion instead of judgment.

    I know better now, but I still struggle with carb cravings. I don't feel helpless, though. I know that a high fat meal will make me feel better than a carb overload. For those who don't know, and/or have been frightened away from the growing evidence about LCHF, give them a break. Encouragement will be more helpful than judgment.

  30. Kim
    Why do we feel kids NEED sugar/junk food in order to have a happy childhood???!! My 11 year old type 1 diabetic daughter eats LCHF and loves halloween. She got dressed up and went "trick or treating" with 2 friends. They collected donations for JDRF instead of candy! Most of the houses were very impressed and they got lots of positive attention. They were so proud to raise about $425 for a good cause. They came back to our house to count their "loot" and had a homemade treat of dark chocolate-cashew-bacon bark. It was an excellent night they will remember for a long time....NO SUGAR NEEDED.
    Reply: #31
  31. FrankG
    I agree entirely Kim!

    Now how about you share the recipe for "dark chocolate-cashew-bacon bark" :-)

    Reply: #33
  32. sophie
    This poor woman is a horrible person. I don't think she means well. It's not because she agrees with our LC views that we have to accept such a hateful and judgemental gesture.

    The parents are also most likely overweight too. This woman probably hates and despises overweight people. It's was a very mean gesture. Some people need to hate on someone, and the overweight, are an easy target for the self-righteous. Her letter was meant to shame, embarrass, and hurt.

    If you really think something needs to be done publicly, then take action, have some integrity, and hatch up a plan instead of just writing anonymous letters to those who are really the victim of a system engineered to make them consume sugary foods under the premise that they have no other option.

    Shame on her.

  33. Kim
    Thanks FrankG. I made the bark by melting two 85% dark chocolate bars with a bit of cream (maybe a tablespoon) in the microwave. Then I added roasted, salted cashews and crispy cooked bacon cut up in small pieces. I put the mix in a parchment lined baking dish and then put in the fridge until hard. Easy and yummy.
    Reply: #34
  34. FrankG
    A little imagination is all it takes to break away from the norm! Thanks Kim :-)
  35. Bruce
    Hello all,
    I'm new to this site and love what I'm learning here. My wife and I are going back to LCHF. Worked great before but I fell off the wagon.
    So our solution to this candy thing is to just not do Halloween. We turn out the lights and turn in for an early to bed evening.
    Nothing religious about it, just want to be left alone.
    We don't do religious holidays and don't do anti-religious holidays either.
    Thanks for all you do.
  36. bjjcaveman
    No kidding... this is pretty mean.
  37. Michelle
    I gave out dark chocolate covered apples and the kids loved them. I made 10 and when they were all gone I turned off the lights in the front of the house and went to bed to read.

    Why not participate in the modern world? Just because I chose this lifestyle it doesn't mean I have to stop being a part of my community.

    I find sanctimonious behaviour rather funny.

  38. zack bridges
    Yes!
  39. Gill P
    Trick or Treating was not around when my children were small. It is a recent thing which has come over from the US to the UK. I don't approve anyway.
  40. Artemis67
    There are very few children in my neighborhood, and they usually go to other neighborhoods to trick-or-treat because very few of my neighbors (mostly students) give out candy. It's not really worth it to buy a bag of candy that I can't eat and might not have any takers, so I put the big jar of spare change I've accumulated over the past year by the door, and each trick-or-treater gets a fistful of it.

    They are more than happy with that, especially since I do it for the youngest children who are out early (I turn off my porch light at 8:00), and they are so amazed that I'm giving away MONEY! This year, I only had seven kids at my door, but it was fun seeing their reactions.

    That said, if the letter weren'tt a hoax, I'd think it cruel and inappropriate. Obese kids are, more often than not, at the mercy of the adults who feed them and form their eating habits. Punishing and humiliating obese kids--and singling them out for it--is hardly the way to motivate them.

    I was a chubby kid, and no amount of teasing, cruel comments, or being singled out and refused a treat thinner kids got made me want to do what was necessary to lose weight. Those things only made me feel worse about myself, and more of an outcast, while at the same time giving me no solid guidance toward fixing the problem. And as a mere kid, I was powerless to change the poor quality of food I was being fed both at home and at school. I had no power to convince anyone to provide better meals that didn't leave me hungry and plagued by cravings an hour later.

    Solving the obesity epidemic, especially among children, will be an enormously difficult undertaking, and has to be approached from many different angles--and adults who are responsible for feeding children are the first ones who need educating. In the meantime, shaming children who might not have the faintest clue why they're fat is mean-spirited and counterproductive.

  41. Bret
    Spot on, Lori. It is not the occasional splurges that make anyone fat or sick. It is the chronic abuse.

    This ND busybody's plan only humiliates children in front of their friends; it does not cause half an ounce of progress on anyone's weight or health.

  42. JAUS
    Of course everyone should have the right to say anything they want no mattter how offensive it is.

    People also have the right to feel offended, even when they really shouldn't be. Just because you have the right to free speech dosen't mean that you have the right to be free from critisism. Critisism of a opinion is also free speech.

    She have a prejudiced oppinion about fat people. There is this feeling of supiority among slim people who think that they are better than those who weigh more than them. Fat people know that they are fat they don't need to be reminded, by ignorant assholes. I smarter than most people (yes have done the mensa test) but I heavier than most, so I get unfairly judged just because of my looks.

    That premice is obviously false since there many intelligent people throughout history that has had a BMI higher than average. How much you weigh doesn't have anything to do with how smart you are.

    To summerize, even if you have the right to be an asshole, you're still an asshole. And since you're in favor of stating the obvious to people I will respect that in this message and tell you that you are an asshole, but I'm sure you knew that already.

    Reply: #43
  43. daniel Ferreira
    Jaus, i like how you insulted me and then gave me the speech about how freedom of speech does not including critisism. yet you still called me an asshole. great logic

    lets be real here, there are"fat accepence groups" in america, and now they are treating it like its segragation (what african americans went though). Practically everyone have access to lose weight, gyms everywhere, Internet to look up diets. but guess what, everyone finds it easier to blame outside forces rather than blaming them selves. I love LCHF but i wont for a one second say that this is THE ONLY way to lose weight.

    and no i dont think im better than fat people, i am just more disciplined, leaner, have more energy, overall stronger fast, look good naked and optimistic.

  44. george burns
    yes i do agree candy is bad

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