Thursday, August 25, 2011
A New Diet Book For Kids--"Maggie Goes On A Diet"
Maggie Goes on a Diet, by Paul Kramer is touted by the author as a book that chronicles Maggie's journey to a healthy weight through eating right and exercise, and is aimed at the Tween, Pre-Teen demographic.
I understand that childhood obesity is on the rise, and I agree that as a nation we need to take steps to curtail the obesity trend. Kids should be taught healthy eating practices and get enough activity in their day, HOWEVER, it should not be done by a book. It should be done by their parents and/or physicians.
If you ask me this book does more harm than good. One look at the cover, and you see a "robust" Maggie looking into a mirror desiring to be thinner to fit into a dress. This depiction plays to young girls who have issues with body image and exploits them, all to make a sale. Not to mention, "Maggie Goes On A Diet"? Who the heck came up with that title? The word diet, implies a temporary change in eating habits to achieve a desired result. If this book were really concerned about healthy eating, wouldn't a title like "Maggie Eats Healthy" be better suited?
On top of all of these other tasteless representations of what health and fitness really are, I'm left wondering, why does Maggie have to go on a diet? Why can't Johnny go on a diet? After all, the book is written by a man. Wouldn't a man be more in touch with male issues with body image than female? I'd say so. So why pray on young girls? Probably because women are more easily manipulated by this type of propaganda. We are constantly bombarded with "the perfect female" in every sort of media, and this bombardment fuels the multi-billion dollar diet, health, and fitness industry. It all plays in to woman's desire to please.
Maggie Goes On A Diet, won't be released until October. And though I don't believe in censorship in media, or banning books, if I had a daughter, I'd keep her away from this one. No child ever needs to be told that they need to be skinnier, it is up to the parents to make the adjustments within the HOUSEHOLD--preparing healthier food and promoting activity TOGETHER--and let nature take it's course. I guarantee our kids would all be healthier if everyone adopted this strategy.