Are you a sugar addict? I am. In 2005 I vowed to quit and began blogging about life without sweets. This site contains a forum, my journal, product reviews, Sugar-Free Challenges, and the self-published Stop Being Sweet ebook.

Woman to Hand Out Letters Saying “Your Kid is Too Obese for Candy”

UPDATE Nov. 2, 2013: Looks like this was a hoax.

Have you heard? A woman in Fargo, ND plans on handing out letters that basically say, “You’re too obese,” to certain children on Halloween.

Halloween Letter
Alleged letter to be distributed to kids for their parents to read.

She said the letters will be sealed in an envelope and labeled for the parents to read. If true, she’s perpetuating the myth that larger people are incapable of being healthy. All the hypoglycemic and diabetic skinny kids will get candy while the bigger kids will be marginalized. Is she for realz?

I first heard about this via Facebook and clicked a link to read about it on the TODAY show. However, my PR radar went off when I heard this story. Who is this woman? Why is she on the news BEFORE Halloween? 

Curious, I traced the TODAY show’s “According to reports” link to Valley News Live, which says the woman, named Cheryl, called in during a Y94 radio show on the morning of Oct. 29. Apparently Cheryl emailed a copy of the letter to the radio station after her call and they went public with it.

The story has been posted on CBS, ABC, Florida Today, and a many other news outlets. It is the kind of story that news networks love because it raises people’s hackles, thus inspiring them to comment and talk.

FOX news picked up the story from the Y94 Morning Playhouse. According to FOX, Corey Schaffer—one of the radio hosts—wants to follow up with Cheryl on Friday, November 1st to see if she went through with her plot.

I’m not the only one to think this might be a hoax. INFORUM, the forum of Fargo-Moorehead, reported that the letter is likely a fake but notes that it has already generated a nationwide buzz, which is true.

Yes, I am hinting that this is PR stunt orchestrated by a candy company. Halloween is a billion dollar industry. Daylight savings time got pushed forward a week by the candy companies so that kids could safely walk the streets. That’s one heck of a trick that makes for selling lots of treats!

It’s very possible this little story will become Halloween folklore along with not trusting any treat that didn’t come individually sealed by a trusted candy company for fear of finding razor blades in your child’s goodies.

Stop Being Sweet Turns 8!

Happy Halloween!

I started Stop Being Sweet eight years ago and what a trip it’s been!

If you’re new to my blog, I only eat sweets 4 days out of every year. I start today, on Halloween, and keep going until November 3rd, which is my birthday. Initially I thought I’d do this just for one year, but it worked so well that it seemed logical to continue and now eight years have gone by.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that, “Sugar is like Jr. High School. The further you get from it, the easier it is to forget all about it.” Sure I’ve slipped up several times, but I just got back on track

Truthfully, when I began Stop Being Sweet, it was kind of a joke. I wasn’t interesting in becoming a health guru (but still felt a kind of magic when I registered the domain name). The greatest unexpected result of writing this blog is that I’ve come in contact with people from all over the world who also struggle with sugar addiction. Basically, I realized I’m not alone.

Your encouragement, support, and requests for help have kept me working to give back and help others. In 2014 I will be rolling out new services which include meetings, an updated book, and online coaching.

So, I’m eating sweets today and for the next three days as I have every year since 2005. This year I’ve got a few places I want to visit including Voodoo Doughnuts and Salt and Straw ice cream to see what all the fuss is about.

October 30, 2013: Almost There

I walked into Whole Foods tonight. Realizing that I will eat sweets over the next few days, I wandered into the bakery section of the store. That area was completely new to me. The assortment of breads, pastries, cookies, and cakes was astonishing. How people manage to not spend their entire paycheck in there every single day is beyond me.

With a sweet-eating-grin on my face, I walked past the candy aisle where some guy looked at me as if I was a crazy person who needed to be avoided. My beard and my hoodie does that sometimes, but usually on dark streets late at night. I took my menacing appearance and left without buying anything. It’s a Stop Being Sweet rule to never go food shopping while hungry—especially when entering my Four Days of Sweetness!

Infographic: Fast Food Advertising Aimed at Kids (Works!)

Apparently McDonalds and Burger King are in a heated competition to embed positive feelings in children, thus turning them into life-long customers. McDonalds won me over when I was a kid, and my father before me. Where and what will you teach your kids to eat?

Fast Food Ads Targeting Kids

Sugary Junk Food ≠ Fun

Concession Stand
The concession stand should not be the best part of going out.

Amusement parks. Ball games. Stadiums. Movies. Concerts. Lunch break from grueling classes at school. Any fun or family-based activity you do, junk food will be close by and available. It’s easy to manufacture, package, distribute, and it’s a huge money maker for those who sell you the stuff.

Even though people might desire a cookie or can of soda while at a loved one’s wake, junk food companies will never line up to place concession stands or vending machines at your local funeral parlor for fear that you will forever associate their product with death, sadness, and tears.

Concession Stand at a Funeral
If the event is not fun, you will not find a concession stand nearby.

Activities such as rides, ballgames, and movies are fun in and of themselves. Snacks are additional. Ask any football fan if they would prefer attending the Super Bowl or eating like they were at the Super Bowl. Chances are they’d like both, but if they had to choose food or watching the game, they’d certainly go with the latter. A problem arises, however, when consumers must eat some junk in order to have fun. If you can’t have a good time without indulging and consuming sweetened food as part of the event, then you’re exhibiting addictive behavior.

So where did we get the idea that sugary snacks are synonymous with fun? From our childhood, when sugar and fun were one in the same.

Crazy Cow Cereal
Crazy Cow cereal turned the milk chocolate or strawberry flavored.
Toucan Sam
Follow your nose (to Froot Loops).
Trix Cereal
Silly Rabbit, Trix are for kids!
Boo Berry cereal
Frankenberry, Count Chocula, and Boo Berry cereal.
Tony the Tiger
Did you just hear Tony the Tiger say his famous line?

Eating a bowl (or three) of cereal before school meant reading cartoons, navigating back-of-the-box puzzles or mazes, and searching for a free prize inside before heading off to be boring and serious. Why couldn’t life be like a bowl of Junkie Junks all the time?

It doesn’t matter if you buy these cereal products or not. The association between sweet junk food and fun has been drilled into us our whole lives and it continues to happen. Advertising dictates that anyone who removes sugary junk food from their diet is depraved and constipated.

Don’t Believe the Hype!

You can have fun without sweets and you often do. Look at the positive, happy, and good things that happen and accept them for what they are. There’s no reason to pepper those moments with flecks (or boxes) of sugar—at least not all of the time.

If you don’t see any fun when you look at your life then it’s time to face the music and Stop Being Sweet. Sugar alone, like drinks or drugs, will never make you happy in the long run.

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About David

After a weekend-long sugar binge in 2003, I realized my problem was very real. It took some time but I finally figured out a way to stay off sweet junk food for good! Read more.

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Don’t quit sugar. Stop Being Sweet instead! Questions? Please ask.