‘Maggie Goes on a Diet‘, by author Paul Kramer, is a book causing much controversy over the last few weeks. It hasn’t even hit bookshelves yet and it’s received so much attention. It’s author claims that the book is meant to help guide children with healthy eating choices. But there are many advocates for children who feel it is only promoting young girls to diet and lose weight.
The book is about a girl who is teased at school being called names like ‘fatty’ and ‘chubby’. In the book she goes on a diet, loses weight and then suddenly makes new friends, joins the soccer team and becomes popular.
Is the message of weight loss in this book something good for young girls. Could this book trigger eating disorders? Some argue this book could send the wrong message. It suggests that being thin will make a person popular and have lots of friends. Young girls and teenagers are at a vulnerable time in life with so many messages from magazines, movies and celebrities telling them what they should or shouldn’t look like.
There is a risk of young children suffering from self-esteem if they think they should go on a diet to be accepted.
On the other side some say it is a positive book because it teaches a child about eating healthy and keeping in good physical fitness.
There is a distinct difference when an individual is unhealthy and considered obese. This is when doctors become involved if there is a concern. For the most part, children should not be going on a diet to lose significant amounts of weight. The fear is that this book will encourage girls who do have any issues to go on diet.
What do you think?