I stumbled across an article that discussed a book that is creating controversy before it has even been published. The book, Maggie Goes on a Diet by Paul M. Kramer, is a book aimed at children from ages 6-12 that follows a fourteen year-old girl who goes on a diet.
The description reads:
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.
The cover art of the book does not help the authors case that he is promoting healthy eating.
Yes, we have an obesity problem in this country, especially amongst children but is marketing a book to young girls about a girl who goes on a diet, the answer? I think the causes of obesity are so complex ranging from homes where parents have to work multiple jobs and do not have the time to prepare healthful meals to the food deserts that many Americans live in, and cutting Gym and sports programs from schools. These are just a few of causes. I would also err on the side that having young (ages 6-12) girls thinking about dieting, in a society where they are already inundated with images of what is deemed ideal, is not the right way to motivate them to eat well and be active. It is a recipe for disordered eating and low self-esteem.
We can help young people learn about nutrition and healthy habits without shaming them. My town has a community garden. This garden has partnered with local schools to have their kids visit garden, help with plantings, and learn about fruits and vegetables. This is a positive way for kids to learn about food and get exercise. Programs like this one are small ways that we can make a dent in childhood obesity without ever using the word diet.
What do you think about the book?