“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,”
“I’m contributing to their health problems and really, their kids are everybody’s kids. It’s a whole village,” says the letter’s author in the interview.
NDSU Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology Dr. Katie Gordon studies eating disorders and says that children and adolescents in particular are very conscious of fitting in with peers. She says the letter might hurt more than help.
Dr. Gordon leaves the matter of an individual child’s weight to his or her parents and pediatrician. She says that one should be careful to judge by another’s appearance and doesn’t believe the letter will have the desired effect.
“That’s not something that someone can judge- the health of someone- just by looking at them. I think that’s the main thing. Even if a child is overweight, they might be very healthy because of what they eat and how they exercise,” says Dr. Gordon. “It’s ineffective anyway because it’s not likely to help the kid,” she says.