Saturday, August 20, 2011

New Children's Book: 'Maggie Goes on a Diet'

I'm at a conference and don't have a lot of time currently. But, I came across this book and wanted to go ahead and post it. Yes. I recognize we have an obesity problem in our society. Yes. I recognize we have an obesity problem within our child and youth populations. Why, however, is there a book about dieting when you are 14? Why is the book about dieting and not health more generally?  AND, why is it specifically about a young GIRL?  Are girls the only sex with a weight issue? Are females the only group that should be concerned with weight?  Where is the line drawn between health and development of eating disorders? The following statistics are from the National Eating Disorder Association:
  • In the United States, as many as 10 million females and 1 million males are fighting a life and death battle with an eating disorder.
  • In a 2003 review of the literature, it was shown that 40% of newly identified cases of anorexia are in girls 15-19 years old.
  • In the same review of literature, it was shown that between 1988 and 1993, the incidence of bulimia in women ages 10-39 TRIPLED.
  • Furthermore, it has been shown that 46% of 9-11 year-olds are "sometimes"  or "very often" on diets, and 82% of their families are "sometimes" or "very often" dieting (Gustafson-Larson & Terry, 1992).
  • 81% of 10-year-olds are afraid of being "fat" (Mellin et al. 1991).

Oh, the questions could keep coming. Look at the book cover alone. Do you see the image in the mirror?

This book is scheduled to be on bookstore shelves on October 16. The author of the book, a male named Paul M. Kramer, states:

"This book is about 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. Through time, exercise and hard work, Maggie becomes more and more confident and develops a positive self image."

Barnes & Noble recommends the book for children ages 6-12.

Read the below articles for more:
Dangerous? Book about Dieting Teen Targets Kids 6-12

New Book Encourages Young Girls to Diet

Maggie Goes on a Diet & We Search for a Fat-Friendly Children's book

1 comment:

  1. I am amazed at this book and not in a good way. As an elementary school teacher and librarian I am usually an advocate of controversial books because at the root they probably have a good "lesson" to be learned. I can see the lesson in this being that with hard work and dedication you can over come a battle such as weight. However, this really strikes a bad vibe with me. I do not see it fitting to try to get the message of hard work an dedication across with an over weight girl. So many of the young girls I see have body image issues or self confidence issues. I could see where this book would possibly make them feel bad about themselves because they would not "measure up" or may never end up being the star soccer player as in the story. Thank you for posting this! I am shocked that this would be written and thought of as a good way to speak to young impressionable girls.