Diet Picture Book for Young Kids — Helpful or Dangerous?
A picture book, aimed at children below 12 years old, is receiving criticism over its plot: a pudgy 14-year-old girl who loses weight and goes on to become the star of her school’s soccer team.
The book, entitled “Maggie Goes on a Diet,” is by author Paul Kramer and is set for release in October. Advance orders for the book, however, are already being taken by booksellers such as Barnes & Noble and Amazon.
Paul Kramer has written other children’s books that dealt with what Kramer has termed as “the issues that kids face today.” Among his other books are “Bullies Beware!” about bullying; “Do Not Dread Wetting the Bed” about bed wetting; and “Divorce Stinks!” about divorce. The books about bed wetting and divorce are due out this fall. All the books are written in rhyme, and are meant to be read by parents to their kids at bedtime.
The plot for Maggie Goes on a Diet is as follows: Maggie “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.”
Joanne Ikeda, a nutritionist emeritus at University of California-Berkeley, warned, however, that the story is not really representative of what goes on in real life. Bringing focus to the imperfections in the body of a young girl or boy “does not empower a child to adopt good eating habits,” and dieting to lose weight may not necessarily mean “happy ever after.” Ikeda shared: “I wouldn’t want a child to read this … because they might, in fact, try to do this and fail. What is that going to do to their self-esteem?”Tags: child diet, diet book for kids, kids diet, Maggie Goes on a Diet, teen diet, young kids diet