Diet Book for 6 Year Olds – Seriously?

If you’ve not heard, a new book targeted at 4-12 year olds will be hitting the shelves in October.  It’s called “Maggie Goes on a Diet” and according to the blurb on Amazon.com, it’s 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.”

Teaching six year olds that dieting is the way to like yourself and become popular? At first I felt sure that it had to be some kind of (really bad) joke. I did not think it possible that anybody would actually write a diet book targeted at first graders. Nobody could possibly be that stupid/cruel/desperate for a quick buck, right?

Wrong.  Paul Michael Kramer is. Sir, may I just say that this is sheer jackassery.

And Maggie might go on a diet, but Ragen is going on a rant:

He made sure that the book is “written in rhyme [so it's] easy to read and fun to learn at the same time”.  And thank god for that, because I would sure hate for kids to have to struggle to learn to hate their bodies.  That’s definitely the kind of message that we want to be easy to understand and implement.  I think he’s going to have trouble with the sequel though, because not that many things rhyme with “treatment for anorexia”.

Like Michelle Obama before him, I’m reasonably certain that he’ll pat himself on the back for giving kids “real talk” in the face of a so-called “obesity epidemic”; never, ever taking responsibility for the issues of mental health, body image and self-esteem that arise, especially for the 95% of kids who are statistically likely to fail at dieting, and the disordered eating that results.

In no particular order, here are some things that make me wonder how the author can live with himself:

(For the record, it makes no difference if he doesn’t know these things since he’s the one who thought it was a scathingly brilliant idea to write a diet book for kids who have been potty trained for less than 5 years, based on his credentials of having written such scientific tomes as “Booger Bob” and “Louie the Lobster Mobster”.)

First let’s take a look at the positive, empowering messages that we get just from reading the blurb (if you have trouble catching sarcasm, this next bit is not for you):

a 14 year old girl

She’s a teenager, as a 6-12 year old all you want to do is be like the older kids, right?.  So put away those carrot sticks (too many carbs!) and bust out the Slimfast, you’re a big girl now!

who goes on a diet and is transformed from being extremely overweight and insecure

Do you look like the picture on the book cover?  Then you’re extremely overweight!  (It’s important to say extremely so that we can hide behind the OMGDEATHFATWON’TSOMEBODYTHINKOFTHECHILDREN panic when there’s a public outcry.) If you’re a fat six year old, ask an adult what “insecure” means.  If you aren’t that already, you should be.

to a normal sized girl who becomes the school soccer star.

It’s important to understand that if your body doesn’t fit a very narrow proportion of height and weight then there is something wrong with you. (Please ignore the fact that almost everything in nature, including human feet for example,  comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Our bodies must all be the same.) Also, we will encourage you to exercise to fit into that narrow range while simultaneously reinforcing the stereotype that you are not athletic.  That may be confusing or upsetting to you, but remember the solution is not for other people to say things that make sense. The solution, as always, is for you to lose weight.

Through time, exercise and hard work, Maggie becomes more and more confident and develops a positive self image.

Please be crystal clear that no amount of healthy living, exercise or hard work will ever be good enough unless you get thin.  You don’t deserve to like yourself or be proud of anything you achieve until you have reached a height weight proportion that makes you aesthetically pleasing to children’s book author Paul Michael Kramer.

Want some more reasons why this is absolutely ludicrous?

Dieting is the number 2 predictor of disordered eating. According to Lynn Grefe, the president and CEO of the National Eating Disorder Association:  “There are a lot of factors at play with an eating disorder, but they start with diet. There’s a lot more pressure on young girls now. And I think we have to be careful as a society in what we are doing here. We should be focusing on health, not size.” Thanks Lynn. Let me just chime in here, as I would have when I was 6, with a big “No Duh”.

If we were to stop panicking and think logically, (even if we set aside the fact that the most likely outcome of dieting is weight GAIN), we would come to the conclusion that we must start being FOR healthy kids, not against fat ones.  Once we start doing that, we will stop overlooking unhealthy kids with thin bodies, and we will give fat kids a chance at the kind of health (physical and mental) that can only be achieved when they are not constantly stigmatized, helpless combatants in a war being waged against them by some of the most powerful people in the world.  There is nothing that could possibly be accomplished by being against fat kids that can’t be accomplished by being for healthy ones. We need to get that message and we need to get it before we irreparably damage an entire generation of kids.

Mr. Kramer wrote another book called “Bullies Beware” in which a kid stands up to his bully. If you feel like giving that a try, you might consider:

E-mailing him to tell him what you think

Joining the discussion at Barnes and Noble

Joining the discussion at Amazon.com

Letting other people know that this is happening so that they can get involved.

Published in: on August 19, 2011 at 5:24 am  Comments (66)  

66 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. And let’s not leave out it’s a man writing a diet book where the main character is a girl. Not to mention my google-fu tells me he has no discernible background in nutrition or fitness, & his author photo shows a pretty husky guy. If being fat is so life ending, he might need to get some diet tips from Maggie for himself.

    • * like* *like*

    • yo for real your idea of how to fight back against this is to fat-shame the author?

      speaking as a pretty, husky guy who also hates the idea of this book… that’s pretty distasteful.

      • Fat shaming was not my intent. Just further pointing out the hypocrisy & disconnect between the author & his message.

    • That’s how I took your comment, despite myself.

  2. Right now, I’m trying to not scream. …The girl on that cover is shaped vaguely like I am now. Apparently I’m “extremely overweight”.

    And this…is a book for six-year-olds. I am trying not to scream. Or cry. Or both at the same time.

    • Every moment is a fresh opportunity to turn it all around.

  3. I am completely gobsmacked. I was eight-ish when my mother first started the diet based part of her abuse towards me. I really hope someone sees the dangers of this book and bans it!

  4. Dear Mr. Kramer:

    You can be good at soccer AND fat! I am not thin and I’m quite able to be pretty good at physical activities!

    Thanks,
    A Non-fictional Maggie

  5. The only good thing about the amazon link for that book is the tags that people put up.

    • I added one: “Child abuse for dummies”

      • Kris, you rock.

  6. This title of this book alone makes me really sick and I am angry at Amazon for planning to distribute this. This is not the first time they sell offensive crap. They are also responsible for Japanese rape-games and selling a statue of Quentin Tarantino called “Rape-Man #1″.

    However, I followed the link in this post to the Amazon discussion and I am relieved to see that each and every commenter is as upset as we all are. This gives me hope that people finally start to doubt this anti-fat hysteria in greater numbers.

  7. This is ….words fail me. I am completely horrified that this book was able to make it to print. What next, diet pills for babies so they don’t put on weight from baby food?

  8. I’m trying to think of a way that this man is just misguided. Unfortunately, I think he’s only thinking of his pocketbook and jumping on the OHMIGODDEATHFAT bandwagon.

    This would be much less sad if my 12yo son didn’t announce recently at dinner that you can lose 1 pound if you throw up. My 12yo! Son! Future bulemic!

    xo Susie

  9. This is absolutely disgusting. With all the other self-esteem crushing crap kids have to deal with, now a children’s book saying you’re not normal and doomed to a life of misery if you’re not the ideal weight? Kramer sucks for writing it, and Amazon sucks for selling it. Boo. Hiss. Barf.

    It will be a cold day in the seventh ring of hell before I let my sons see this book.

    Munch on that Booger Bob.

  10. Again they forget that a huge part of the problem in the first place is, that if we were teaching our kids self-acceptance, self-esteem, empowering them, etc, many of them wouldn’t have weight problems in the first place. This book really, really REALLY worries, distresses, and annoys me.

  11. Sadly, the message that to fix low self-esteem or insecurity is something that I have seen a lot in diet books for children / teens. One that I can think of specifically was Dr. Phils son who wrote a diet book, its probably the only one I read as a teen but it stuck with me. It is always so frustrating to me because they never address the actual reasons why a fat child might be insecure or dislike their body and again blame the child / their weight for all of their pain.

    I almost had to leave a family gathering because my aunt was talking about how they were watching what my cousins daughter was eating, she was a toddler at the time, because they didn’t want her to be bullied when she grew up. It’s messages like this book that make it acceptable.

  12. I’m absolutely horrified at this. I still remember the tiny little girdle that I had to struggle into AT 5 YEARS OLD in order to fit into my cheerleader’s uniform – and how upset my mother was that I had to wear a girdle in the first place. That’s when I first remember the body hatred. We need to stop the madness!

  13. This is insanity and I’m glad you posted about it. I also posted about it over at my blog. When I saw this last night I was appalled and couldn’t even think straight. It’s bad enough that they do this type of thing to grown adults, but to do it to children…that’s just sick and wrong and I get too emotional to even deal with it rationally.

    Here’s the link to my blog today about it: http://perfectlycursedlife.com/?p=2265

    As a product of childhood and adolescent dieting, I can attest to the fact that this book is EXTREMELY dangerous.

  14. Ragen, THANK YOU. #2. The link for the Barnes & Noble discussion goes to Aloha publishers – no B&N or comments that I could find. Namaste, kcd

  15. I was going to write a vicious email to him but I just couldn’t. If you look at the website, none of his work looks all that professional. Credentials lack not only for fitness and nutrition but child development, child psychology, or even “hey this is good writing”; the “publisher” explicitly states that it is for the work of one Paul Michael Kramer. I’ll refrain from passing judgment on the quality of writing, as a sample is lacking, but…absence speaks volumes.

    Basically, he’s got no credibility and the whole thing seems to be a self-publishing vanity venture, which fortunately means this is doomed to drown in the vast sea of noise that is the Internet. HAES and SA have far bigger fish to fry.

  16. Ugh. I could only read the first few paragraphs. This makes me ill. I have a son who is a “solid” boy. He doesn’t stand out as overweight, but that’s not really the point. The point is he is beautiful and strong and formidable and intelligent, and will probably always be a big boy. He’s in second grade, and the second day of school an older boy was picking on a kindergartner. My son stepped in and told this boy to stop it, and the boy turned around and called my six year old child a FAT ASS. Thankfully, my son said, “hahaha, Mom, I don’t think he knows what that means!”

    If my son is, as I suspect he is, wired like me (toward soothing with food), his work in life will be to learn self-soothing through other means (I have an older son who is the polar opposite… internally regulated all the way). This is unlikely to happen if he starts judging his self worth on his body size.

    This ignorance, putting kids on diets, is sickening. I’m so thankful he’s a boy, because that puts him at less risk for eating disorders and body shame… my one consolation. But that doesn’t mean he’s without risk altogether, and it still doesn’t bode well for the little girls who have the same body type as he.

    Thanks for posting this, Ragen. I’m done ranting :)

  17. Sandy Andresen has also reminded us of all of the great HAES (r) focused books on the NAAFA reading list, some by Joanne Ikeda and Frances Berg. Perhaps we can promote those books at the same time we are pointing out the flaws in the Maggie book!
    Dr. Deah Schwartz, leftoverstogo.com

  18. This makes me want to cry. When I think of my beautiful, amazing 6-year old niece reading crap like this…..well, it makes me want to do not nice things to this person.

  19. I was going to point this out, but Katherine did it for me. It’s a vanity press. He’s just a single jackass paying money to be a public jackass. This book has been all over the size acceptance boards this week, including mine. It is gross, no doubt about it. But IMHO, a man writing about a 14 year old girl for 4-8 year old’s (presumably girls) has got bigger problems than bigotry (if you get my subtle drift).

    http://www.peopleofsize.com (self promotion)

    • I find it somewhat comforting that no self-respecting publisher would touch the damn thing.

  20. Thank you for a brilliant blog and all the links. I have commented on Amazon but think that Barnes and Noble have taken down their comment spot. I think that anyone who could write such a stupid ill-advised and uneducated book is actually beneath contempt BUT this book needs to be withdrawn before it puts some child’s life at risk.

  21. This is one of those times the media should have ignored it. This is a self published title from someone who couldn’t get a real publisher – not surprisingly! The hype around it has given it a boost it could NEVER have got by itself. I counted articles about it in newspapers in Australia, the UK and the US. Even though they’re all negative, it’s still loads of publicity.

    I bet it doesn’t sell one copy. Just the cover art work alone suggest it’s a poor book, on every level, not just the idea behind it.

    • Hi Alexie,

      I hear you what you’re saying. In this case I feel that it’s important that there is an instant and clear reaction because if we don’t nip thins in the bud then before we note it there will be more and more diet books with this age range.

      ~Ragen

      • I hope you didn’t think I meant bloggers who talk about it. If nothing else, we need a space where we can go and bitch! I just was amazed it got such a run in outlets that you think would have better things to discuss than some guy’s lame self published book with bad cover art.

        Still, poor man. Publicity that major publishers would kill to get – and yet it won’t help his sales (which is embarrassing for him). Who would buy such a thing, except for its kitsch value??

      • Alexie: I might buy it — just so I can burn it!

    • Getting a “real publisher” is no guarantee of quality. There is plenty of utter crap published by “real publishers.” Twilight is a glittery, sparkly, shining example of such. I can’t stand that book, which set empowerment of girls back 50 years as well as being some of the most heinous purple prose I’ve ever laid eyes on.
      On the other hand I’ve read some fantastic independent work.

  22. The first thing that came to my mind when I saw the picture on the cover:
    Reverse the images so the fat girl is in the mirror, as seen by the thin girl, and change the title to “Maggie Goes Into Treatment.”

  23. “Also, we will encourage you to exercise to fit into that narrow range while simultaneously reinforcing the stereotype that you are not athletic. That may be confusing or upsetting to you, but remember the solution is not for other people to say things that make sense. The solution, as always, is for you to lose weight.”

    This is such a powerful and true statement. You win one internets.

    • I’m happy to win one internets, but sorry that this stupid book gave me the opportunity.

  24. I went on my first diet at age 14 and ended up anorexic. It’s taken me 42 years to accept my not-so-thin body… to figure out what “normal weight” is for me.. What a tragedy. Thanks, Ragen, for your post. I blogged about it today:

    http://bethsblog.typepad.com/bethsblog/2011/08/beyond-the-pale.html

  25. EVERYONE. This is an opportunity for the community to write “Maggie Learns to Love Herself,” where fat 14 year old Maggie becomes a cheerleader/ballet dancer/soccer player/shotputter/swimmer despite a bully who makes fun of her because she has the love and support of her parents, siblings, friends, teammates and boy/girlfriend. And then she learns how to ignore the bully who’s never going to really go away and love herself anyway.

    • :D Excellent idea!

    • OMG this is SUCH a brilliant idea!!!!!

    • YES! If I had known about HAES when I was 13, I may not have started sticking my finger down my throat to try and become rail thin–which with my bone structure I was never meant to be anyway. I would love to see such a book!

  26. I could not agree more w/ the comments pointing out the fact that this Paul guy is a total tool and has no business writing about young girls, or FOR young children. Bottom line, it’s up to the parents out there to NOT give this pathtic man one penny in sales and
    NOT pass this dribble onto our children. It breaks my heart that books like this even exist, but it’s just more proof that we’ve have a lot of ignorant, self-absorbed jackasses in our world (just look at politics, on both sides!) And it’s up to us to not give them a sounding board. But man it sure is fun to bash on this douchbag. Wow. I hope to God he’s not a father.

  27. Please see the below email I sent to the publisher and the author, and feel free to use/modify if you would like to send your own letter:
    Dear Mr. Kramer:

    I am writing to you regarding a book you recently published entitled Maggie Goes on a Diet. I am both alarmed and seriously disgusted that a book of this nature would be published. The body shaming and diet culture in our society is difficult enough for adults to navigate, but selling it to children is just inexcusable!

    The incidence of childhood eating disorders in sharply on the rise, and the number two cause for eating disorders is dieting. Starting children on diets at such an impressionable time in their lives is irresponsible and dangerous.

    Furthermore, this book sends the message to our children that none of their acheivements matter unless they are thin, and that dieting is a normal and appropriate part of their lives. Scientific studies have shown that dieting fails 95% of the time, so telling children to diet is setting them up for failure.

    How about reaching children with a positive message about body love, and acceptance of all shapes and sizes. How about introducing them to the wonderful benefits of eating healthy and being active, rather than shaming them into losing weight and hating themselves?

    I strongly encourage you to be responsible, and take this horrible book off the market, before you cause a lot of harm to a lot of families.

    Very Sincerely,
    Danielle Salerno

  28. Kids are taught from books. They expect books to give them valid information. Foisting this piece of propaganda off as true to young, impressionable minds is unconscionable.

    And don’t even get me started on the cover. The girl is holding up a frilly dress, not a soccer uniform. The mirror doesn’t show “the school soccer star” but rather a thinner Maggie able to fit the dress.

    Just… grrr.

  29. And Eselle, here’s another thing…has anyone else noticed how even the thinner Maggie in the mirror is still way too big to fit in the dress? Eek.

    I’m in the middle of a discussion on FB about this, with people who aren’t in any of the fat-related groups I’m in, and through the general horror there are nevertheless hints of ‘well, it was meant well, our kids are fatter than ever and are all going to die before us, it’s just the way it’s put that’s wrong…’ No, no, no. How do you get it across to people that this is a dangerous message in whatever ‘healthy’ form you couch it?

    • Wow, you’re right. I was so annoyed I didn’t even notice the dress is STILL too small for the new and “improved” Maggie. I guess she just didn’t “work hard enough.”

      I got told often enough that it was my fault the diets failed when I was a kid still in single digits. I believed it because it was adults who told me so. I would have died a little inside if I’d seen this book then. And surely someone would have bought it for me.

      I don’t believe in censorship. I don’t believe in banning books. But this one makes my feel like lighting a match.

    • I was having the same type of discussion on a craft forum. So many people saying “Well, I’m fat and I love myself, but it’s good to help kids be healthy so they don’t get dirty looks from other adults or get picked on by other kids.”

      So many things that I want to share so they can see where I’m coming from, and it seemed like every time I shared something, people would be like “You don’t GET IT, being fat is unhealthy and all we want is for kids to be healthy.”

      It’s like, yeah, I want that too, but I want them to be healthy and love themselves even if they are still fat. Only one person seemed to get that you can do everything “right” and still be fat, and a child in that situation reading a book like this is just set up to feel like a failure.

      • Thanks for the comment! . It’s funny because I just read that thread (I can see on my stats where I’m being linked from) and I noticed the same thing. The person who said that kids could stop dirty looks and teasing if they would just diet was the most disturbing for me since it clearly never occurred to them that people shaming kids is the actual problem, not the kid’s bodies.

  30. If I could go out and burn every single copy of this book there is or ever will be in existence I would do it. If I spot this book on a Library shelf I am probably going to go take it to the desk and pitch a fit. If I am the librarian at said library (give me 4 years, or less, I’ll get there) that book will be the first on the chopping block. It will not be sold at a library book sale it will be tossed in the trash.

    It’s authors like this man (and all other diet gurus who sell books) that make me want to not be an author. They make me want to blow my nose at the publishing industry because it’s not just the author, it’s the publishers who are also willing to make a quick buck by publishing such utter garbage.

  31. Look, she is torturing herself to fit into a dress (instead of buying a dress that fits her), just like mom!

    Awful. I thought Seventeen and Heroin Chic were too awful for anyone to go through…I feel so bad for kids these days.

  32. One small point, people…could we have a little less hate on writers who self-publish? In these financial times, publishers are less willing than ever to take a chance on even good work if it’s not by an already well-known name, and lots of good writers make a start by self-publishing. (I know a few, and believe me, it’s not an easy route; you have to do your own promotion and marketing which would be done for you by a larger publisher, and that involves a heck of a lot of footwork.)

    And, self-publishing and vanity aren’t quite the same thing: there’s some debate over this, but here’s a rough guide as to what the difference is: http://www.societyofauthors.org/vanity-publishing

    Yes, this book is dangerous crap, but that’d also be true if he’d had it brought out in a nice glossy edition by HarperCollins, right?

    • Amen to that! I am intending to self-publish a book on my journey through dealing with my mental illness. I know plenty of people who self-publish, and it is different from vanity publishing.
      It is almost impossible for an unknown author to get published through the traditional route these days.
      Some POD (Publish on Demand) publishers may print any old crap that comes their way, but others do hold their authors to standards. Outskirts Press, for instance, will not publish hate speech or hardcore pornography.
      I feel very strongly about this because I have read absolute tripe that was published by a mainstream publishing company, and some very good material that was self published.
      Thank you for saying this. Good karma to you, Emerald!

    • The real significance of observing that the book doesn’t have a publisher behind it is to indulge in the calming awareness that it isn’t being marketed or promoted, that it hasn’t got a distributor pushing it to retail or libraries, that it is going to shrivel on the proverbial vine altogether.

      Not because traditional publishing guarantees quality, and not because its lack guarantees its lack, but because anyone can create content but access to massive, directed channels of distribution is even more tightly curated than ever. (On criteria of commerce, not quality per se.)

  33. Your book deal is on the way, Ragen! I sent my message with my suggestion to write a kids book about YOU:Mr. Kramer,

    I just learned of your new book, Maggie Goes on a Diet, trough a blog written by Ragen Chastain. Your book has an interesting concept: target 6-12 year old girls by writing about a 14 year old going on a diet as her way of better loving herself. Nevermind the age disconnect, I have a couple of suggestions for your next book: (1) Write a fictional depiction of Ragen Chastain, or make it a non-fiction kids’ book. Either way, you have an overweight woman, or 14 year old, that is physically active and healthy. This character can focus on her health instead of her size, and surely the purpose of your book is to encourage kids to be HEALTHY, right? Perhaps that book can focus on Maggie’s cousin, Rachel (instead of cousin Ragen?), loving her legs because they support her day in and day out, and loving her heart because it’s strong and lets her dance. Book 3 can be about Connie. Maybe she’s age 12 and wears a size 12– kind of a between fat and thin size. Connie has healthy self-esteem and your book can focus on the many, wonderful reasons why.

    More than another prescription for losing weight and being paranoid over their looks, kids today need to read and hear messages of self-love. If one bases self-love on looks or accomplishments, one is bound to falter on their self love/treating themselves well meter. Use your talent to carry a good message to children: love yourself, be kind to your neighbor, play and be healthy, be kind even to those that do not.

    Thanks for reading this message, Mr. Kramer. Perhaps I’ll be in the acknowledgments of your next book, as you’ll use one of these ideas of how to promote self-esteem in today’s children.

    Sincerely,
    Amy

    Funny enough, the website had timed out by the time i hit submit. I guess thoughtful comments are not what they’re hoping to receive. I hope it’s okay I used your name.

    • This is completely awesome, I’ll totally share the royalties with you!

      ~Ragen

      • :)

  34. Paul Michael Kramer: Inspiring disordered eating for a whole new generation.
    Wow! Surely that should net him a Nobel prize!

  35. My Letter to Aloha Publishing:

    Re: Maggie Goes On A Diet

    Dear Author and Editors:

    “Maggie Goes On A Diet” is going to hurt more people than it helps.

    Dieting hurts more than it helps — especially children.

    In the vast majority of cases (we’re talking up to, and over, 90% of cases), all the weight lost through dieting is regained, plus more. http://www.dietsurvivors.com/articles/021506.html

    Excessive emphasis on weight and size (and dieting) is causing more and more children to suffer from eating disorders, and at younger ages. The doctor interviewed for this article in the Herald Sun is treating a FIVE-year-old for an eating disorder! http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/kids-too-afraid-to-eat/story-e6frf7l6-1226047800963

    It’s not too late to pull “Maggie Goes On A Diet.”

    If I haven’t yet given you second thoughts, check out the new book “Not Fat Because I Wanna Be” by child author LaNiyah Bailey. Go to her site, and you will see the face of just one of the many fat children who will be further persecuted because they can never be like the fictional “Maggie.” http://www.notfatbecauseiwannabe.com/

    Finally, and I can’t emphasize this point enough: You don’t have to be thin to be athletic. There is room for ALL sizes of kids in athletics. Google “Cheryl Haworth” (2008 Olympic team) or “Holley Mangold” (looking good for the 2012 Olympic team).

    Fat girls might never do backflips on the balance beam, but on the other hand, Mary Lou Retton will never clean and jerk 350 pounds, either.

    If you contribute to the stereotype that fat kids can’t do sports, you are part of the problem that keeps fat kids away from the gym (and therefore away from something that can actually improve their health). Don’t do it!

    I bet you could come up with a wonderful book that encourages children of ALL sizes to be active and healthy. You can show how these changes will make them FEEL better and DO more, without emphasizing changing the look or shape of their bodies.

    If you need help with this, I’m sure that any number of experts at the Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH) http://www.sizediversityandhealth.org/ would be happy to consult with you. As would I.

    Seriously. Think about it.

    Yours sincerely,
    Theresa Bakker
    Certified Personal Trainer, American College of Sports Medicine
    and Athletic Fat Person

    • Beautifully done Theresa, you are awesome :)

      ~Ragen

  36. It’s amazing how focused society is on selling this junk way of thinking to kids. My 7-year-old nephew went to the doctor before school started, only to be told that he’s overweight. He’s a healthy, active 7-year-old who, despite his mom’s only feeding him and his 5-year-old brother processed and frozen “foods”, likes fruits and vegetables. Since the doctor visit, he’s been completely obsessed with food. He counts calories, and on more than one occasion he’s been caught skipping meals or throwing away food and saying he’s cleaned his plate. We’ve tried to help my brother-in-law reinforce a positive body image with both of our nephews, but it’s tough. Books like this one don’t make it any easier.

  37. There’s a video on it today: http://news.yahoo.com/video/health-15749655/children-s-book-maggie-goes-on-a-diet-causes-stir-26388352.html

    The little girls looking at the pictures part is sad. I KNOW they get this crap from the adults around them, they see and hear the non- acceptance and absorb it. *sigh*

    Yet another generation of people who can’t accept other of different sizes is started. When will it end?

  38. What a grossly irresponsible book! You shouldn’t be encouraging children to attempt medical procedures on themselves, especially not the same ones recommended to adults, especially when it is risky and of dubious value.

    Dieting is something that causes strain on a person’s system. It could cause lasting damage at early developmental stages, like stunting growth. I remember someone asking if their 3-4 year old was fat. *shudder* . It’s a natural state for young children to be in, they shouldn’t be thinking they need to diet away their “baby fat”.

  39. I’m so sick of all these stories where a person goes on a diet and loses weight and his/her (usually her) life slowly but surely and magically gets better. I want to read a book with an insecure fat character who gets secure WITHOUT losing weight! I think these stories teach fat kids that they should feel insecure about their bodies, just as much as conventional bullying.

  40. My kids were sorting out their old Lego recently and found a book I didn’t know we had. It was only a few pages long, published by Lego, I presume 10-15 years ago, about a little girl who ate too much cake and had a nightmare that she was fat and nobody liked her. Then she woke up, realised it wasn’t real and resolved never to eat too much cake again. Horrible! I don’t remember seeing it before and i can only assume that my mother bought it. Little kids are exposed to so much of this awful, fat-shaming indoctrination. How could anyone think this was good reading for small children? Obviously it went straight in the recycling bin.


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