Thursday, September 1, 2011

Book Teaches Fat Kids, Diets Work...yeah right!

"Book Weighs Heavily On Childhood Obesity"

CONTROVERSIAL new children’s storybook about a girl who transforms her life by going on a diet has been condemned by parents and health experts around the world – before it has even hit the shelves.

The book, Maggie Goes on a Diet, written by US self-publishing children’s author and dad Paul M Kramer, will not be published until October, but Amazon and Barnes and Noble are taking advance orders for the book on their websites.

The hardcover book, which is aimed at six to 12 year olds, tells the story of 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”.

The book’s overview explains: “Through time, exercise and hard work, Maggie becomes more and more confident and develops a positive self-image.”

The front cover shows an overweight girl looking into a mirror and seeing a much slimmer version of herself.

If anything this is setting up this girl for getting fatter. Why not put her in soccer if she likes it, if she can still run and see what happens? Like have FUN? How many of us fat kids, looked in the mirror, like the fat girl with her horned pig tails on the front cover, wishing we would see a skinny body?

I have never seen a super-fat kid turn into a skinny look like other kids. Now there are children who from illness, and other factors just like adults can gain temporary weight. But here we see the carrot of "you can be super-thin too, if you just WORK hard enough" held out to the kiddies and it's a lie. Here's a secret, the skinny kids don't have to WORK at it, they just ARE.

What is scary to me about my childhood, and I was fat as a kid, though supersized obesity came much later, is how ACTIVE I was. I rode my bike EVERYWHERE even 5 miles down the road, this in the era before helicopter parents, this included hours and hours of walking and hanging out, and delivering an hour and half newspaper route, from age 9 on, even on weekends. This included hours spent at pools, doing yard work and more. What about the fat kids who are active? I know there are some kids they definitely need more exercise, don't leave them in the house, only playing video games night and day, but this book bugs me, they hold out a false "dream" that failed for so many of us.

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