Would You Read Your Toddler a Diet Book?
August 19, 2011
Maggie Goes on a Diet, a self-published children's book about a 14-year-old "transforming from being extremely overweight and insecure to a normal sized girl who becomes the school soccer star," hasn't been released yet. But this is one book we’re happy to judge by the cover.
As Treasury Islands points out,
This smiley girl with Pippi Longstocking plaits is probably Maggie. And Maggie is, lets face it, a little on the plump side. Maggie has a pretty pink frock. Girls like pretty pink frocks. But look! The pretty pink frock will not fit her – it is too small! Here’s a suggestion for your next book Mr. Kramer: write a book called MAGGIE’S MUM BUYS A DRESS THAT ACTUALLY FITS HER AND DOESN’T DEGRADE HER DAUGHTER, and get someone else to write it.
It's also interesting to note that Amazon has labeled this book as appropriate for 4 to 8 years old. I'd say Maggie Goes on a Diet is incredibly inappropriate for a 4-year-old. And really, the book is unnecessary for teens, too. There’s no question that childhood obesity is a serious problem. But there are better ways to encourage maintaining a healthy weight—sneaking in exercise, preparing healthy, kid-friendly meals, learning about portion control, and even playing active Wii games. "Going on a diet" is the likely the worst way to get kids healthier, as it often encourages obsessive behavior, self-loathing, and unrealistic ideas about body weight.
The TI writer has added some tags to the Amazon.com book profile, including "irresponsible publishing", "give your children neuroses", "anorexia trigger", "sick and twisted", "anti-women", "bad parenting", "how to make your child hate herself", "I blame the parents" and more.
Would you read this book to your kid?