For parents who are concerned that their kids are gaining too much weight, author Paul Kramer thinks he has the perfect solution. Introducing his new book, “Maggie Goes on a Diet.” On his intentions for writing the book, Kramer says, “This book is about a 14-year-old girl who goes on a diet and is transformed from being extremely overweight and insecure to a normal-sized girl who becomes the school soccer star. Through time, exercise and hard work, Maggie becomes more and more confident and develops a positive self image.”
While I think his intentions are all there–and that childhood obesity is damn wrong–I don’t think there should be a book with the word “diet” on the cover. Could you imagine, as a kid, getting this book from a parent? “Happy birthday Maggie, now go on a diet.” I would be mortified. My self-esteem would just plummet. If you’re concerned about your child’s weight gain, here’s an idea: teach them healthy eating yourself.
Don’t feed them ideas that they’re ugly or tell them they need to go on a diet. Cook and feed them healthier food; encourage physical activity and sports, rather than allowing them to sit in front of the TV or Xbox. Common sense here–if you supply healthy foods in your home and avoid all junk food (or buy “fake junk food“), you’re changing your child’s eating habits for the better, and simultaneously changing yours as well.
The book is aimed at kids aged 6-12. Really!? Kids, especially young girls, are extremely susceptible to body image issues, particularly when they are entering their teen years. Despite having good intentions, this book is an eating disorder waiting to happen. Parents, educate your kids on healthy eating and exercise, don’t rely on this book to do it for you. And for God’s sake, don’t tell your six-year-old they need to go on a diet. Stop buying McDonald’s, and promote healthy eating!