The Instigator
jvava
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
Emily77
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Obese Children Should Not Be Allowed to Trick-or-Treat

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
jvava
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/31/2013 Category: Health
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,400 times Debate No: 39779
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)

 

jvava

Con

Hello! The first round is acceptance.

I want to debate this issue as a result of the outrage in Fargo. I am against any restrictions on obese children being allowed to trick-or-treat. I believe that it does much more harm than good.

Thank you!
Emily77

Pro

I would love to accept this challenge, and look forward to a great debate. Cheers!
Debate Round No. 1
jvava

Con

I am against the banning of trick-or-treating on obese children for several reasons.

Ineffective.

If a child does not receive candy from one house, there are lots of other houses that will provide candy on Halloween night. What difference is one mini-sized Snickers or a bag of Skittles?

"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. It's ineffective anyway because it's not likely to help the kid." - Dr. Katie Gordon, North Dakota State University assistant professor of clinical psychology

This quote was pulled from http://www.cbsnews.com.... She provided an excellent point to why obese children should be restricted from trick-or-treating.


Emotional consequences.

Obese children are just like any other child, with just a few extra pounds. When they see a skinny kid receiving candy on Halloween, and they do not receive candy, then it can have a huge emotional impact on them. An emotional impact that would not only humiliate them but also make them feel secluded, different.

Such a memory could, and very likely would, still be remembered later on in the teen years - when self-consciousness is high. If obese or even overweight children are banned from trick-or-treating, than they would feel even worse about themselves later on, knowing that others think they are large.

None of your business.

Parents know their children are obese. They don't need some outside force, such as a neighbor or another parent, telling them that their child is obese. Quite frankly, it is no business of a neighbor to tell a child or his/her parents that they are obese.

Alternatives.

Instead of handing out candy to fit kids and not giving it out to larger kids, neighbors could instead benefit everybody as a whole and give out, say, an apple. That way the obese child would not feel secluded and could benefit, like everybody else, from the healthiness of an apple.

Unpopular method of reducing obesity.

Despite being an ineffective way of reducing obesity, this practice of handing out "fat letters" is very unpopular.

According to a CBS article,
http://www.cbsnews.com...,

"Some California and Massachusetts schools have also been accused of sending "fat letters" home with students. These notes include scores of a child's mass index (BMI), a height-to-weight ratio that is used by medical professionals to designate if a person is underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese. Other letters directly address if a child is overweight and obese, and include recommendations on how to help the child lose weight. The practice has been discontinued in Mass. because of fears that the letters may cause self-esteem and bullying issues."

Halloween is meant to be fun, not to be something that causes someone to hate their body and despise who they are. If they are obese, and know the consequences of eating candy, then they should make the decision for themselves. Otherwise, it is not in the hands of a neighbor to decide whether they are fit-enough to consume candy.




Emily77

Pro

Ineffectiveness?
While the particular instance of "fat-shaming" in Fargo may have been ineffective on a micro level, I assure you, it was far from ineffective.

The point of the letters was to raise awareness among parents about childhood obesity; a topic that is as touchy as any other whether you are dealing with abortion or euthanasia. What she has done is bring media attention to the issue, and this is exactly how changes are made in society. Media attention brings heavy scrutiny by [i]both[/i] sides of an argument, prompts new scientific studies to be undertaken, and brings attention to people who may have otherwise been oblivious to the gravity of an issue.

When stating that "it takes a village to raise a child," she was quite right. These days the media is that village, whether by the news that parents tune in to or the messages kids get through cartoons in the morning. Even something that seems as obvious as "my child is fat" can often be missed by loving parents. When more information surfaces, parents are better equipped to set up healthier food habits for their children, which in turn, can be passed on to their children's children, and so forth.

Emotional Consequences?
You were right to point out that adolescence is the most tumultuous and fragile time that a person experiences on their road to adulthood. In fact, the suicide rates of teens are a whopping 6:1 compared to that of TWEENS (10-14) alone. Not surprisingly, a majority of them are due to low self-esteem caused by poor body image, ESPECIALLY among young girls.

So why not nip it in the bud? Have your own little Halloween party at home sans candy, or plan some other family activity instead of trick-or-treating with your obese child. The child need not know why they are not trick or treating, so in what way must it cause emotional harm? It is the parents in a position to mold the experience their child will have in adolescence; it is their job to equip them with the tools they need to be confident and make good decisions. This includes giving them the information they need to make not only physically healthy choices about food, but mentally healthy ones too.

http://www.statcan.gc.ca...

None of Your Business?
Why not? We legislate paternal laws all the time. Seatbelts, ages limits for vice, and prostitution. And we do it not because the government or courts are particularly warm and fuzzy and want you to live a long and happy life so you can kiss puppies and unicorns.

In the end, it always comes down to money. We spend billions of dollars on healthcare (I'm from Canada where these figures are even higher), even in places where healthcare is not subsidized. It is still one of the largest costs a government is forced to funnel tax payer dollars into. And while you may be content with spending your hard earned money to allow a fat kid to eat a Snickers, I, and many other citizens are not. This is why these laws are crucial. They are the balance between a free society that allows a smoker to take a puff or an obese child to have another serving of Kraft Dinner, but also try to mitigate the impact that these choices make on the rest of society. Thank our ancestors for utilitarianism.

Alternatives?
Certainly, I agree with you here. Sending healthy alternatives home with children is a better solution. But we are debating whether or not obese children should be allowed to trick-or-treat, not whether "fat letters" are a better solution than healthy treats. Unfortunately, we do not live in a society that gives out healthy snacks at this time of year, and, until we are, a night of frolic and fun is (from both a micro and macro level) not worth exacerbating their poor health, draining the resources of society, and further contributing to the "fat" epidemic that's plagued North America for decades.

Unpopular?
I feel like simply including this section in your argumentation has decimated any grounds for your position. Unpopularity should NEVER be a motive to maintain a status-quo. New and groundbreaking scientific discoveries that are made popular are almost always unpopular at the time because they go against the values and beliefs that people currently hold. This is the necessity behind change.

The abolition of slavery and segregation, interracial marriage, women's rights: all things that at the time, (and still in some pockets of society) were wildly unpopular. I think most of us in hindsight can now agree that these changes were for the better, no?
Debate Round No. 2
jvava

Con

Ineffective.

Although it did bring media attention, it was in a heavily negative light.

It is ineffective for several reasons. Should we ban obese children from buying candy? Should we ban parents treating their obese child to a snack?

My point is, quite simply, that all children and going to find outlets to candy one way or another. Blocking treats on Halloween does not make much of a difference in terms of unhealthiness.

"When more information surfaces, parents are better equipped to set up healthier food habits for their children, which in turn, can be passed on to their children's children, and so forth."

This is something you said. I just want to say that this isn't true - there has been heavy focus on the health effects of smoking recently, and despite a small decrease, a large amount people still smoke. After trillions of dollars on the "War Against Drugs" people continue to do drugs.

"Information" does not create change in itself.

Emotional consequences.

"
Have your own little Halloween party at home sans candy, or plan some other family activity instead of trick-or-treating with your obese child. The child need not know why they are not trick or treating, so in what way must it cause emotional harm?"

This is no solution. We live in a society that glorifies holidays. Children are going to know about Trick-or-Treating. There is no avoiding it or acting as though it doesn't exist. And kids are naturally inquisitive: they are going to ask why they cannot go out and trick-or-treat.

"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. It's ineffective anyway because it's not likely to help the kid." - Dr. Katie Gordon, North Dakota State University assistant professor of clinical psychology

I want to pull this back up. It points out that not every obese child is unhealthy - and that not every skinny kid is healthy. Simply looking at a child and determining whether they get candy or not is a failure of a system.

None of Your Business.

"And while you may be content with spending your hard earned money to allow a fat kid to eat a Snickers, I, and many other citizens are not."

I hope you do realize that giving anyone - fat or skinny - something such as Snickers is unhealthy. If you were that concerned with "the village" you simply would not give out candy on Halloween. If you were concerned with the condition of everybody - whether obese, average, or underweight - you would not hand out candy to anybody because, I'm not denying, it is unhealthy.

Alternatives.

"Unfortunately, we do not live in a society that gives out healthy snacks at this time of year, and, until we are, a night of frolic and fun is (from both a micro and macro level) not worth exacerbating their poor health, draining the resources of society, and further contributing to the "fat" epidemic that's plagued North America for decades."

Trick-or-Treating is not contributing to the "epidemic" nearly as much as TV and video games are.

Let me pose a question: which is healthier? A child who eats candy and then goes and jogs, or a child who eats candy and then watches TV or plays video games?

Banning Trick-or-Treating is not getting to the source of this obesity problem. The problem is hidden deeper - in video games, TV, and other sorts of media. If you wanted to help with childhood obesity, you would ban television and video games, not trick-or-treating. Because a child can go and "run off" the candy, but he/she cannot if they decide to play video games or watch television afterwards.

Unpopular.

The reason slavery, segregation, interracial marriage, and women's rights were changed was because of the fact that they were unfair and immoral.

I'd think that not allowing a child to trick-or-treat on the basis of weight is not fair. That is why it is met with such unpopularity.

Let me sum up my stance to voters: I am against the banning of Trick-or-Treating for obese kids on the basis that it can cause emotional harm, that it is unfair, that there are alternatives (handing out fruit to everyone regardless of weight), and that the idea is ineffective.

Children will be able to get candy no matter what. Why ban it only on Halloween?
Children turn into teens, and can remember things quite well. How would this memory affect the body image of someone?
Obese kids can be healthier than skinny kids. Just looking at them does not determine whether they are fit to have candy.
If you were concerned with the state of the "village", you would not hand out candy to anyone, skinny or fat.
Trick-or-Treating is not the contributing factor to the obesity epidemic.

These are my main points; I hope the voters think ove them and decide on who's argument is more logical.

May the voters decide who wins!
Emily77

Pro


Ineffective?

Ever heard 'any press is good press'?. This is because psychologically, when human beings are engaged in an idea, whether an advocate or thoroughly opposed, it remains in the brain and shapes their actions and values. Even those who are furiously opposed to the letters of Fargo will have the ideas in their head long after the fact.


Furthermore, scientific studies love to play devil's advocate. So the more negative media attention, the more scientific studies are undertaken, thus the more information there is on the subject.

We are already beginning to see large changes happening in schools where junk food bans, vending machines and cafeterias with healthy choices only are appearing, etc.

Moreover, I'm not sure where you are getting this information on drugs and smoking. Smoking levels have plummeted drastically since more information has become available on the health risks involved.

"Health care advocates hailed Wednesday's findings as evidence that higher cigarette taxes were paying off, combined with federal curbs on youth-oriented tobacco marketing and sales and a sweeping anti-smoking media campaign."

Furthermore, the same is true about the dramatic decline in hard drug use; namely cocaine, methamphetamine and illegal pain killers.

"Reported availability of [these drugs] has not been reduced. Instead, increases in perceived risks and disapproval appear to have contributed substantially to the recent declines in the use of [these drugs]. The findings provide strong support for the use of realistic information about risks and consequences as an important ingredient in the efforts to prevent drug use."
-Jerald G. Bachman, et. al., "Explaining the Recent Decline in Cocaine Use Among Young Adults: Further Evidence that Perceived Risks and Disapproval Lead to Reduced Drug Use"

So, after doing your research, you'll find that yes, more information has contributed in an enormous capacity to reduced tobacco and illegal drug use.

Emotional Consequences?

"This is no solution...Children are going to know about Trick-or-Treating. There is no avoiding it or acting as though it doesn't exist. And kids are naturally inquisitive: they are going to ask why they cannot go out and trick-or-treat"

Suppose your child's teacher was Keegstra, a well known Holocaust denier. He wants to take your child to presentations denying the Holocaust but is required to get a signed permission slip from you in order to do so. Do you sign it? Probably not. Because it is not in the best interest of your child. As parents, it is their duty to create parameters and boundaries for child's development, even if all the other kids are going.

You don't tell them you are denying them ice cream because they're fat; it's because you want them to be healthy. You don't tell them they have a tutor because they're stupid; it's because you want them to have more ways of learning.

All children are not the same, all children have different needs. It is the parent's job to determine when those needs begin to conflict with the parameters of other children, and there is definitely no need to harm their emotional balance in the process.

Furthermore, you may not be able to judge the health of a child just by looking at them, but in no situation is being obese healthy, or conducive to health in any way.

None of Your Business?

There is a large difference between buying someone a drink, and buying a reformed alcoholic a drink. While both scenarios are potentially hazardous, the latter would, in any fair assessment of the risks, be far more hazardous. This is where balancing the freedom of people to make choices with the risk of harm comes in to play. Giving a fit child a Snickers may still be somewhat hazardous, but giving one to an obese child is much more so.

Alternatives?

"Trick-or-Treating is not contributing to the "epidemic" nearly as much as TV and video games are."

While I would love to get into the specifics about this, unfortunately the debate is about Trick-or-Treating alone, not the overall contribution of all factors to obesity. This point is therefore completely irrelevant to the discussion.

Let me reiterate my point which actually does contribute to the argument: we do not live in a society at the current time that follows the rules of healthy snacks at Halloween, and thus, Trick-or-Treating does contribute majorly to the problem of obesity. I would assume you couldn't come up with a counter to this argument, and that is why you started a new discussion about completely irrelevant topics.

Unpopular?

Our standards of morality change. Slavery in the times of Aristotle was thought to be very moral. The days are starting to arrive where feeling obese children more fattening foods is equally as immoral because it sets them up for a lifetime of health problems. So it really is no different than the abolition in slavery, segregation, and gender inequality. Unpopularity should never be a measure of societal fitness.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by pranmar123 3 years ago
pranmar123
Jezz stu debate... Wtf? You should be rounded up and shot....
Posted by kelsieisboss 3 years ago
kelsieisboss
^Easy there Satan^
Posted by stu-debate 3 years ago
stu-debate
no they should all be rounded up and shot
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Adam2 3 years ago
Adam2
jvavaEmily77Tied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: He gave good reason why banning obese children from partaking it was ineffective, whereas Emily only stated based on emotion. Not good.