A Diet Book For Girls? Really??
If I really wanted to mess my kids up I would self-publish some books and leave them lying around the house. One of them would be called "Maggie Goes On a Diet and Becomes Popular", another might be "How To Look Like Barbie" and "How to Exercise to the Point Of Exhaustion So You Can Have a Killer Butt Before The Age of 12".
Luckily, the first one about Maggie going on a diet is ready to hit the store shelves so I don't have do a mock-up of it. You can see the cover here, with a poor chunky Maggie staring wistfully into a mirror holding a too-small pink dress. Poor Maggie.
I have NOT read the story, but from what I understand, 14-year-old Maggie goes on a diet and hidden inside of her is a soccer star. Yey Maggie! Being thin makes you a star.
The book is aimed at girls between the ages of 6-12, though Amazon lists it for ages 4-8. Needless to say, Paul Kramer, the self-publishing author, has been pretty much slammed across the web (though The Frisky came out in his defense). No one doubts the author's intentions were good, he honestly thought he was helping, even normalizing a chubby girl's efforts to get thin and gain self-esteem.
Aside from the usual outrage over focusing on the Oprah-approved story of thinness as a way to happiness; fostering unhealthy eating habits and the fact that a man wrote the book, I hate the book because of the word diet.
Did Kramer not do any research on dieting? Did he not realize that diets don't work? That little girls as young as three are saying they need to go on a diet? That starting dieting at a young age usually means a lifelong habit of yo-yo dieting that results into an unhealthy relationship with food and the mirror, no matter what your weight?
Yes, there is an obesity crisis going on and if any book could solve it, it is one of Ellyn Satter's. If you are worried about your kids or even about the issue of kids and obesity, don't read abour poor fat Maggie. Read Ellyn Satter. She is a dietitian focused on putting joy into the relationship between kids and food. She would never put Maggie on a diet, she would fill the house with healthy options and tell her to eat.
Meanwhile, I can see the sequel now: Maggie's Trip Through Yo-Yo Dieting and Her Life Lessons On Learning to Love Herself.
What do you think? Is a diet book for a young girl needed?
Want more chaos? Last year, I posted my super-popular BBQ Chicken Marinade recipe.