By David Bailey
(Reuters) – A North Dakota woman told a local radio station that on Halloween she will give children she considers obese a sternly-worded letter for their parents along with candy.
The woman, who gave her name only as “Cheryl,” said she would still hand out candy but planned to give some trick-or-treaters a sealed envelope with a letter for their parents, she said Tuesday in a call to a radio station in Fargo.
“I am not denying any of the kids candy,” she said. “I am just hoping the parents are going to read this and think about it while they watch their kids get into bigger and bigger sizes of clothes,” according to a recording of the radio show.
“As far as we know Cheryl is a local Fargo woman that thinks it is her mission to watch out for the overweight children of Fargo,” radio host Corey Schaffer said Wednesday.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has said the percentage of children and adolescents aged 2-19 years in the United States who were obese in 2010 was 17 percent.
Schaffer, who goes by Zero as a host of the Y94 show, said the woman exchanged emails with the station for a couple of days and was scheduled in advance to call in Tuesday.
Schaffer said Cheryl’s Halloween plan has sparked some “nasty, nasty responses.”
Among the responses was “Ready, Eggs, FIRE.” Others suggested she pass out healthier treats or not answer her door.
Cheryl’s letter reads in part, “Your 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.”
Halloween has been a season of radio pranks since Orson Welles radio broadcast adaptation of “War of the Worlds” sparked fears of an East Coast alien invasion 75 years ago, but Schaffer said the station was not perpetrating a hoax and he did not believe Cheryl was either.
In the radio appearance, the woman said, “I just think that parents should take more responsibility for their kids becoming little fat kids.”
Cheryl added, “I don’t want to be the mean lady. I don’t want to be the lady that everybody avoids.”