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Would You Read Your Toddler a Diet Book?

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.

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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.

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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. 

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The TI writer has added some tags to the 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?