Friday, August 26, 2011

Book May Send Wrong Message

Hi Everyone:

Although Paul Kramer says that his book Maggie Goes on a Diet ( is meant to promote healthy eating, I believe a different message may be sent to the children aged four and up who read it: being skinny equals being popular. Isn't it enough that magazines already say that? Do kids as young as four or five need to be reading about dieting and perhaps feel shamed into watching what they eat? It's no surprise then that there is controversy surrounding the book before its October release.

Maggie is a 14-year-old girl who gets teased for being overweight but becomes a popular soccer player after going on a diet. Sure, she makes healthier food choices. But what if she hadn't gotten popular or good at soccer? Would her efforts have been in vain?

I definitely agree with promoting healthy eating but not by portraying a teenager dieting. The example should start at home with nutritious (or at least fairly healthy) meals being served. Exercise should also be encouraged. The sad reality is that dieting may lead to an eating disorder, which can sometimes turn deadly.

I'm not saying the book should be censored, but that Kramer should have been more careful when he wrote it and decided who his target audience should be. Kids are extremely impressionable after all.


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