Children's Book Causes Stir

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by BetteDavisEyes, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. BetteDavisEyes

    BetteDavisEyes All the boys think she's a spy...

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    Children’s Book Encourages 6-Year-Old Kids to Diet?

    by Audrey Morrison
    Aug 24th, 2011

    Once upon a time, the plot of yet-to-be-released children’s book Maggie Goes on a Diet sparked great controversy among parents and experts.

    Author Paul Kramer defended his tale, written for kids as young as six years old, during a recent Fox News interview. “I’m not advocating that any child should go on a diet,” he said. “This is a change of lifestyle. This is not meant to be to, ‘Go on a diet.’”

    But Kramer’s lead character, Maggie, does in fact go on a diet according to the description on Amazon.com: “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..."


    http://xfinitytv.comcast.net/blogs/...encourages-6-year-old-kids-to-diet/?cmpid=FCS
     
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  3. Quiche

    Quiche New Member

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    Hmmmm, why couldn't the author go with, Maggie Wants to Play Great Soccer?

    The word "diet" has too many negative connotations, imo.
     
  4. BetteDavisEyes

    BetteDavisEyes All the boys think she's a spy...

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    I don't like the focus on being thin as a means to popularity and success. This implies that those who are not slim & trim won't have friends or the opportunity to achieve whatever they want in life. Kids today already have enough pressures in their lives: They don't need additional challenges like being beautiful and super-slim to further complicate their lives. jmo
     
  5. passionflower

    passionflower Just 1 tip to find a killer

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    To bad the book doesn't promote good healthy eating, portion control and exercise.
    The word diet is never mentioned around my grand daughter.
    She is 9 and yes over weight (part heredity).
    She is a yoyo just like me.......summer loses (activity, veg and fruit)
    winter gains sme again.
    Lifestyle/not diet for kids.......JMOO
     
  6. twinkiesmom

    twinkiesmom New Member

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    This book was on GMA this morning...The worst part is she decided to lose weight in response to bullying...So the bullies were made out to be right...The bullying victim changes her personal appearance to stop the bullying. I guess if she had been bullied for a large nose or crooked teeth, the solution would have been cosmetic surgery/dentistry rather than ignoring the bullies or reporting it to a teacher/trusted adult.
     
  7. Pandora

    Pandora New Member

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    As someone who has a friend from high school dying right now from anorexia (almost 30 years worth) and her daughter at 14 suffering from it as well, I would like to SMACK that author with her D*MN book. How's that for bullying?!
     
  8. Linda7NJ

    Linda7NJ Active Member

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    I see nothing wrong with the book.
     
  9. sweetheart29

    sweetheart29 Member

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    My son will be 11 in Feb. he 4ft 7 inches weight 70-75lbs. Refuses to swim with out a shirt cause the kids at school tell him hes fat. I know there are kids that are overweight but the world pushes not being fat way too much. The school is always doing stuff about eating healthy and he comes home tells me what he cant eat because it will make him fat. I dont like what this book is saying you have to be skinny to be good.
     
  10. i.b.nora

    i.b.nora I am polka dot

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    I think that the outrage about a book that is not yet available and no one has read yet is just ludicrous.

    In addition, I don't see anything wrong with what I have read about the premise of the book. Some kids are fat, overweight, obese. Why not try to help them if they are unhappy with themselves? Why not help them to know and understand what healthy meals are? Or help them to build their self esteem. It is a delicate traumatic time for virtually all teenagers for a variety of reasons. Why wouldn't a parent want to support their teenager who felt uncomfortable about their size?

    People seek help, encouragement and understanding for anorexia, and those disorders, why not with budding obesity?

    Otherwise, we should consider altering our future building codes so that doorways and hallways will have to be wide enough to allow for 600 lb + people to pass thru easily, and not require ripping out the opening when they go to get their stomach bypass operations.
     
  11. TrackerSam

    TrackerSam New Member

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    I blame Walt Disney for much of this attitude. "Mirror mirror on the wall who's the (kindest, smartest, most loving, most talented, most compassionate - NO), who's the FAIREST of them all?" Nothing else matters. Beware the food police.
     
  12. Linda7NJ

    Linda7NJ Active Member

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    IMO there is a huge difference between beautiful & super-slim to being fat.

    I see nothing wrong with empowering & educating children about their weight & letting them know they can control it by making healthy choices, diet & exercise.
     
  13. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    I would totally agree with you except that, as Quiche points out above, the very title of the book is a large part of the problem. "Maggies Gets in Shape," "Maggie in Training," "Birth of a Soccer Star," etc., all are possible, positive titles for the story described.

    Instead the title focuses on the problematic word, "diet".
     
  14. BetteDavisEyes

    BetteDavisEyes All the boys think she's a spy...

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    Most schools include a health unit annually in elementary grades, and a health class is part of the middle school curriculum and a requirement in local school districts. Even if parents aren't setting a good example at home, students are at least learning about good nutrition and the importance of exercise.

    When we were youngsters, children played outdoors, weather-permitting. I rarely see kids outdoors in my neighborhood. We don't have sidewalks, and I suppose that's part of the problem, but I think too many children are indoors on their computers, playing video games, or watching TV.

    Even though I've never been much of an outdoor gal, I rode a bike for exercise during the summer when I wasn't going to ballet class two or three times a week. There were also free swimming lessons offered at a public school pool during the summer, and I went almost daily with a group of friends for the 3-4 week program. My siblings and I also walked back and forth to school (about a mile each way). Unless their school is just a few blocks from home, very few children walk to or from school these days. Parents or nannies drive to the bus stop to pick kids up so they won't have to walk a couple of blocks to their homes!

    Knowing how to eat well for optimum good health is important, to be sure, but children also need to get plenty of exercise. A sound mind in a sound body is a short but full description of a happy state in this world.
     
  15. angelmom

    angelmom The love stays...forever in our hearts

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    To me just the cover of the book is irritating. It shows a chubby young girl holding a dress in front of herself. So that doesn't imply that she's going on a diet to be healthier or get better at the sport she loves; it sends the message that if you are thin, you are beautiful and will get asked to the dance.

    Seriously? Marketed to 6 year olds? What a load of crap.

    I agree that the topic is timely, and that will some illustrations changed and a totally different title it could be a great book. I just think this sounds like some well-meaning old man who is completely out of touch with modern thinking about children, health, and language.

    My DD has times when she bulks up as well, and I have struggled with my weight, but I NEVER use the word diet around her and never focus on clothing or looks. Eating healthier and getting lots of exercise is about feeling good and being healthy, not making other people like you.
     
  16. Pandora

    Pandora New Member

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  17. Donjeta

    Donjeta Adji Desir, missing from Florida

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    What is the target audience of this book? It just seems oddly mismatched between the content and the form. Parents may not feel like reading books about bullied 14-year olds on a diet to their kindergarteners and 14-year-olds who read for themselves are not going to be interested in a rhyming picture book.
     
  18. Quiche

    Quiche New Member

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    Plus, isn't it duplicitous of us to fret about the weight of our children when schools are feeding children tatertots and canceling out PE programs left and right? Recess times too short to pee, lunch hours really lunch half-hours?

    Diet, pfft.
     
  19. Jack

    Jack New Member

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    Not having read this book I can't comment on specifics, but just from the description I can see why their are criticisms. It would appear that young children do learn a lot from being read to, and they still have a strong sense of 'me' around kindergarten age so they learn from books with stories of characters who are like themselves. So I see nothing wrong with a childrens book about dieting targeted toward kids who for whatever reason do have to go on a diet. My concern is how the results are portrayed. If the end result was that Maggie got super healthy and was able to look forward to a long happy healthy life with her family I wouldn't have a problem with it. I don't care for the idea that a young kid should give any thought to or let a bully's taunts influence their decisions at all, or that somehow going on a diet is going to solve all their social problems. I think the author and publisher meant well but just didn't quite hit the mark.
     
  20. Linda7NJ

    Linda7NJ Active Member

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    Yeah they teach them very little, then the lunch bell rings and they feed the children CRAP. Talk about mixed messages. :banghead:
     
  21. Linda7NJ

    Linda7NJ Active Member

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    IMO Far FAR too many parents depend on the government to feed their children and exercise them. Packing a child a healthy lunch isn't rocket science, neither is turning off the tv and sending them outside to play
     

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