When you read Bridget Jones’ Diary, you expect to learn about the character’s relationship with food. But when you crack open a children’s book to read to your 5-year-old, food and diet plans are the last things you expect to read about.
Maggie Goes On a Diet is a new book by Paul Kramer that targets just that: child and teen dieting.
The book — due out in October — is already making headlines for its controversial topic. While the author says it’s his way of teaching kids about leading a healthy lifestyle, experts say children under the age of 16 are far too young to be concerned about caloric intake. Though the country is leading the way in child obesity, they say writing children’s books about getting fit and thereby becoming popular, is not the right way to go about dealing with the issue.
According to this ABC article, experts also call the storyline unrealistic:
Weight-loss experts say that the storybook plotline doesn’t reflect what happens in real children’s lives. Joanne Ikeda is the co-founding director of the University of California at Berkeley’s Center on Weight and Health.
Highlighting imperfections in a boy’s or girl’s body “does not empower a child to adopt good eating habits,” Ikeda said.
In real life, dieting down to a smaller clothing size doesn’t guarantee living happily ever after.
In his defense, the author says this was his attempt at teaching kids to exercise, eat healthy, and feel good about themselves.
What do you guys think? Is this children’s book going too far?