Sunday, October 31, 2010

Health Nazi Ruins Halloween

When I was a kid, Halloween was different. Sure there were one or two nuts out there who would spoil it for everyone with a pin or a razor blade, but let's face it, those psychos were few and far between, and our parents would check over our candy when we got home. You could even go and have your candy x-rayed if you were particularly paranoid.

A rule of thumb presided - unopened, sealed treats were fine. And money or the much-cherished McDonalds gift certificates were even better. Nobody could mess with them. And back in the day, a fifty cent McD piece of paper could get you an order of free fries!

Well, yesterday a dietician hopped on the Health Nazi bandwagon. Here's that person's letter:

No Halloween French Fries

As a registered dietitian, I was horrified to read a pediatrician's claim that 80 percent of children under 12 months old regularly eat French fries [Living, Oct. 27, "Doctors Detail How To Keep Kids Well"]. Whether this is accurate or not, proper nutrition for children is undoubtedly one of the most serious problems facing our nation.

Unfortunately, located directly below Churnin's article was Korky Vann's article "Here's The Ticket For Halloween." Vann informs parents of a special fast-food Halloween deal: a $1 coupon booklet that contains tickets for free orders of French fries and a soft drink.

Vann's suggestion to hand out these coupons on Halloween in order to save money is discouraging. Easy access to inexpensive, high-calorie foods is one of the major barriers in fighting the obesity epidemic. Why encourage readers to celebrate Halloween by endorsing an industry that has such a devastating impact on the health of our country?

Traditional "fun-sized" Halloween candies are much lower in calories than a serving of fries and soda. Please don't feed French fries to your neighbors' babies this Halloween. Here's a better way to save money: find out whether you qualify for federal food assistance programs at

Wow. I think I'd rather have a razor blade in a caramel apple. And I think this dietician is probably against Christmas, Valentines Day and peanut butter in schools too. Party pooper.

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