Perhaps by now you've seen this?
Now, you might think this is some spoof out to rile the social justice warriors. I admit, I wasn't sure at first. But no. This is a real note, courtesy of Cheryl from Fargo, North Dakota. In fact, here she is on y94 defending her decision.
The DJ asks her why she doesn't just give out healthy alternatives, and her reply is that she doesn't want to be the mean lady. So she'll give all the kids candy, and the ones she deems overweight will also be getting this incredibly well worded, and caring, note.
There are so many things wrong with this I hardly know where to start.
Let's first define "concern trolling" OK? Since apparently a lot of people don't seem to understand the concept.
Concern Trolling: "A person who posts on a blog thread, in the guise of 'concern,' to disrupt dialogue or undermine morale by pointing out that posters and/or the site may be getting themselves in trouble, usually with an authority or power. They point out problems that don't really exist. The intent is to derail, stifle, control, the dialogue. It is viewed as insincere and condescending." -- Urban Dictionary
This is a case of in real life concern trolling. The woman holds herself up to be helping the community by inserting a note which she finds to be "well-meaning" into those people's hands that she finds unhealthy. She has put herself into a dialogue that didn't exist, is controlling it, and wants to be seen as the good guy.
Here's why she can't do that:
1) It's none of her business. Halloween is an opt-in holiday. Think Halloween candy makes kids fatter and you can't stand it? Opt out. Leave your porch light off. It's as simple as that. Or as the DJ suggested, give out something you consider healthy. The kids won't care. They're there for the costumes and festivities. If they ever even do care about what kind of candy they got, it's long after the fact, and they won't even remember you. Repeat this to yourself: you are not that big a deal.
2) Parents have eyes. They can see their own children, they know what their children weigh moreso than even you do, and they have deemed it appropriate to allow their kids to partake in the collection of candy this year. They don't need you to tell them what they can see. They don't need you to tell them what they should do.
3) Collection of candy. That's as far as you see. For all you know that family is donating their stash this year. Or not. Not your business.
4) I happen to be a fairly thin, muscular woman -- a woman some people would say is in great shape. I've eaten four bags of Halloween candy in the past two weeks. Meanwhile, I know people struggling with their weight who have eaten nothing but wholesome, doctor-approved diets in that time. Point being, thin people do not represent healthy people necessarily. Those thin kids you're referencing in your note could have far worse diets and exercise than the ones you consider to be overweight.
5) Kids of trick-or-treating age are just coming into the stage where they learn about people like you, who will judge them for what they look like as opposed to for who they are. They've not yet built the walls of self-confidence around themselves, and reading a note like this could have a very definite and a very negative impact on them. They could accidentally allow you to define them. They could lose their sense of self and start judging who they are by what you think of them. They could then pattern this for years, becoming more and more unhappy with themselves, always feeling inadequate, no matter how much they accomplish. These kids, they don't know you don't matter. So you have to act like you do. Because you might to them. And if that's the case, wouldn't you rather be the person who shored someone up when they were feeling insecure rather than pushed them down into the depths of self-doubt and worry?
In summation, here's a PSA. Happy Halloween, everybody! Remember this year to not be a total douchecanoe when handing out candy to the joyous children happy to be out and about and proud of their costumes.
According to the Center For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/17/childhood-obesity-linked-health-problems_n_2497054.html" target="_blank">17% (or 12.5 million) of kids and adolescents aged 2 - 19</a> years in the United States are now obese.
<a href="http://www.letsmove.gov/sites/letsmove.gov/files/Let_s_Move_Child_Care_Fact_Sheet.pdf" target="_blank">The rate</a> among this age group <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hestat/obesity_child_07_08/obesity_child_07_08.htm" target="_blank">increased</a> from 5% to 10.4% in 1976-1980 and 2007-2008.
<a href="http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm" target="_blank">Obese kids are more likely to also be obese as adults</a>, which <a href="http://www.letsmove.gov/sites/letsmove.gov/files/Let_s_Move_Child_Care_Fact_Sheet.pdf" target="_blank">puts them at risk</a> for heart disease, diabetes, and more adult health problems.
These kids are even <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm" target="_blank">more likely</a> to <a href="http://www.letsmove.gov/sites/letsmove.gov/files/Let_s_Move_Child_Care_Fact_Sheet.pdf" target="_blank">become obese adults</a>.
<a href="http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hestat/obesity_child_07_08/obesity_child_07_08.htm" target="_blank">CDC data</a> shows that there was an increase in the pervasiveness of obesity in the American population between 1976-1980 and then again from 1999-2000, the prevalence of obesity increased.
Obesity in <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/2009/r090723.htm" target="_blank">low-income 2- to 4-year-olds</a> rose from 12.4% of the population in 1998 to 14.5% in 2003 but increased to 14.6% in 2008.
And only 25% of kids in this age group get the recommended three daily serving of vegetables. One way to make sure your child gets the <a href="http://www.letsmove.gov/sites/letsmove.gov/files/Let_s_Move_Child_Care_Fact_Sheet.pdf" target="_blank">amount of fruit and vegetables that they need</a> is to serve them at every meal.
<a href="http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/physicalactivity/facts.htm" target="_blank">In 2011, only 29% of high-schoolers</a> in a survey participated in 60 minutes of physical activity each day, which is the amount recommended by the CDC. <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/children.html" target="_blank">It’s best for kids to get three different types of exercise</a>: aerobic activity, like walking or running, muscle strengthening activities like push-ups or pull-ups and bone strengthening activities like jumping rope.
High blood pressure, diabetes and other cardiovascular issues have been previously tied to obesity. But <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/17/childhood-obesity-linked-health-problems_n_2497054.html?utm_hp_ref=childhood-obesity" target="_blank">a 2013 study</a> found that obesity also puts kids at risk for other health issues such as ADHD, allergies and ear infections.
This<a href="http://www.ftc.gov/os/2008/07/P064504foodmktingreport.pdf" target="_blank"> number was documented by the FTC in 2008</a>.<a href="http://www.apa.org/topics/kids-media/food.aspx" target="_blank"> According to the APA</a>, there are strong associations between the increase in junk food advertising to kids and the climbing rate of childhood obesity.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/17/childhood-obesity-linked-health-problems_n_2497054.html" target="_blank">Childhood Obesity Linked To Wide Range Of Health Problems </a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/09/healthy-weight-kids-strict-lunch_n_3045355.html?utm_hp_ref=childhood-obesity" target="_blank">Healthy Weight In Kids Tied To Strict School Lunch Standards </a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/28/kids-meals-fail-nutrition-test_n_2969810.html?utm_hp_ref=childhood-obesity" target="_blank">Kids' Meals At Major Chains Fail Nutrition Test</a>
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