25 August 2011

Does My Child Need To Lose Weight?

Earlier this week I cam across an article from the Huffington Post. It was commenting on a new children's book being published and available starting in October.

"Maggie Goes on A Diet"

This book is self published by author Paul Kramer. It tells the story of 14 year old Maggie who is overweight and through diet and exercise loses the weight to become the school soccer star. She becomes "more confident and has a positive self-image."

As you can guess this book has made waves!

Some only have a problem with the cover art, it seems that Maggie is only wanting to be skinny so she can fit into "the" dress and the picture does very little convey that she wants to lose weight for herself or her health.

Others point to the the number of eating disorders that girls as young and younger than 9 are developing under the pressure of looking like movie stars and models. And I can see their point. Four percent of teens report having an eating disorder, and because of the secretive nature of eating disorders we can safely assume that this number is deceptively low.

Yet another group applauds the book. Finally, someone who will discuss the thing no one else will: That nearly 20% of kids aged 6-19 are overweight.

Obesity is nearly considered an epidemic and everyone is looking for someone to blame. Restaurants, video games, lack of school activities, parents. Doctors give seemingly contradictory advice as they push a child's milk and fat intake until age 2 and then abruptly start worrying and cutting back on the same foods they encouraged 3 months prior so they don't gain too much weight as a preschooler.

It's confusing. What is a parent supposed to do? Are they supposed to do it alone? How much of it is parenting and how much culture? So many questions and so few answers.

Now this book appears. It could be a way to broach the subject with your kids or it could be yet another blow to a young girl's self esteem. I'd love to check out a copy and see how the inside of the book compares to it's cover. After all, you can't judge a book by it's cover, and for now that's all we have to go on.

What do you think? Will you be picking up a copy?

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  1. I think the title of the book could use some tweaking, and the cover could use a change. Instead of the dress couldn't she hold a soccer ball while her reflection shows her in a soccer uniform holding a ball? 
     And the title should be "Maggie Changes Her Diet" or something to that effect. 

    I think it is a good idea, but poor execution.

  2. Great suggestions, I think that those changes would make a huge difference on how people see the book!


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