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Diet Book For Kids

A Diet Book For Kids: Kid Friendly or Are You Kidding?

Childhood obesity has reached epidemic levels, but do your tots need to be reading about it?

Paul M. Kramer thinks so. The author of several self-published books about tough issues kids face (including Bullies Beware! and Divorce Stinks!) isn't set to release his latest title until October, but it's already generating criticism. Maggie Goes on a Diet ($11) is intended to teach tots (ages 4-8) about the importance of eating a healthy diet by telling the rhyming story of pudgy Maggie who goes on a diet in order to become the star of the soccer team. According to the publisher, "Maggie has so much potential that has been hiding under her extra weight."

But is the message really the importance of a healthy diet or that being slim guarantees success? If that is the message, is it one that we should be teaching young girls?

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Svend-la-Rose Svend-la-Rose 4 years
This is great. I await the sequel, Anorexic Annie Pumps Iron, which will also depict her eating beef.
commonsense102 commonsense102 4 years
Kids who are obese, won't have parents that will read them a book like this or maybe even any book. Obesity in children is linked with SES and/or emotional stress related to abuse/neglect, etc. A children's book isn't going to help.
GZO GZO 4 years
I would at least change the cover illustration so it doesn't seem like she's trying to slim down just for the sake of her appearance.
katialoves katialoves 4 years
its a great idea for parents to look at this book when their kids are babies...but no its not a great book for kids. if they are fat it is very likely their caregiver's fault not their own
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 4 years
Well I would have to read it first to say for sure, but I voted kid friendly. Seeing as how she becomes soccer star, and the picture shows her standing in front of a mirror holding a tiny pink dress, I think the content of this particular book may be a bit shallow... but it's a big step in the right direction. I think it's important for obese children to know that they're not alone, and that they deserve to live a healthier lifestyle. A book about diet and exercise won't address the isolation and worthlessness many obese children feel as a result of the bullying they face in school. I agree it is the parent's responsibility. There's been a push to see children's services intervene more often in cases of obesity, and I support it. It's illegal to underfeed your child, it should be illegal to overfeed your child too. Malnourishment is malnourishment, no matter which end of the spectrum it's on.
talonsage talonsage 4 years
This book and concept are wrong on SO many levels I can't even begin to enumerate them.
Rebecca-M-Gruber Rebecca-M-Gruber 4 years
EvieJ - you just made me nostalgic for the days of YM. I too read it when it was still Young Miss!
EvieJ EvieJ 4 years
I don't think this book is aimed at kids who are of normal weight, or even slightly overweight. Maggie is obese, and finds that her self esteem improves by being active and eating healthier food. Would I buy it for my daughter? I don't know. I don't disagree with the message per se (that a healthy, active lifestyle helps one - including me - feel better about oneself), but I'd have to read the book to see if I disagree with how the message is presented. For a 4-year old, though? No. If a 4-year old is obese, the PARENT needs education, not the child. Likewise with an 8-year old. I think if it was geared towards older girls, who are more able to make independent decisions on food and activity, it would be better. I remember reading magazine articles in YM (when it was called Young Miss, that long ago) about losing weight when I was probably 11-12, and it did not turn me anorexic or bulimic.
Jenny-Sugar Jenny-Sugar 4 years
I think there's is a more positive way to go about teaching kids how to be healthy. Bringing attention to a "pudgy Maggie," and sending the offensive message that you can only succeed (be the star of the soccer team) if you're thin is awful. Natasha is right - there's enough negativity out there surrounding body images, especially for young girls. They'll probably read this book at 4 years old and say, "Mommy, do I need to go on a diet?"
Natasha-Dantzig Natasha-Dantzig 4 years
Noooo! There's enough negative body stuff for our kids to deal with — last thing we need is a book aimed at them making them feel even worse. And what about the fact that kids go through all kinds of growth spurts, getting "pudgy" and thinning out at regular intervals through adolescence.
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