Do kids need to diet?
We saw this as we were skating around the internet. Kinda scary.
Fancy putting your daughter off her food? Then buy her Maggie Goes on a Diet, a children’s book aimed – according to Barnes & Noble, one of the many booksellers on whose website it is currently listed – at six- to 12-year-olds. [...]
The book tells the story of 14-year-old Maggie, who according to its blurb “is transformed from being overweight and insecure to a normal-sized teen who becomes the school soccer star”. It’s not out until October, but so disquieting is the cover image that perhaps we may, in this case, allow ourselves to judge the book by it. Maggie is depicted as dumpy, pigtailed, wearing an unflattering jumper (has nobody told her that wide lateral stripes aren’t a good look when you’re carrying a few extra pounds?), staring into the mirror, presumably dreaming of a thinner self who will one day wear the tiny pink prom dress she’s holding wistfully to her chest.
There are better ways to teach your kids about health – starting by modeling healthy behavior yourself, and always emphasizing lifelong healthy eating habits over dieting. The book does get one thing right – being physically active (in this case, involved in sports) is good for kids.
While the author probably has good intentions, there are better health messages for kids aged 6-12.