Candy Shop Offers Free Fudge to Customers Weighing Over 300 Pounds
In honor of Fat Tuesday, Waynesville's Route 66 Candy Shoppe offered to hand out free fudge to customers weighing over 300 pounds. While the owners claim their intent is lighthearted in spirit, some find it insulting and irresponsible.
"Walk, run, waddle or ride your motorized wheelchair down to the Route 66 Candy Shoppe," read the store's Facebook page. Another post promoting the offer ran an image of an obese Homer Simpson in a loose-fitting muumuu.
"It made my blood boil," former patron Deb Czuprynski told KSPR News. "It may be a joke to them, but to other viewers they can't help it; some will die because of obesity. No one should ever make fun of it."
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In 2013, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention ranked Missouri the 17th most obese state, with 29.6 percent of adults obese. Despite a 40 percent drop in obesity in children between ages two and five, weight-related health issues continue to be a hot topic.
But shop owner Charley Dill, who weighs in at over 300 pounds and speaks affectionately of "fellow fatties," insisted he's not trying to offend anybody. "We are not trying to make a statement," he told CNN. "We just thought it was a good way to invite people to come in and have a good laugh." He went on to suggest future specials, including free candy for pregnant women on Labor Day.
Despite the controversy, the shop's Facebook page has reached over 1000 likes, with users complimenting Dill's marketing acumen while advising customers like Czuprynski to lighten up. "I'm mad I don't meet the qualifications," said one user. "I heard the fudge is wonderful!"
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