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Fitness & Health

August 31, 2011

The “D” Word: “Diet” Book for Kids Sparks Controversy

Maggie Goes on a Diet Book“Is ‘diet’ a dirty word?” That’s the question that the Washington Post’s On Parenting blog asked recently. There is a new book–written for children–that’s scheduled to be released in October titled “Maggie Goes on a Diet”.

In the Post’s article by Janice D’Arcy, the book’s author explains: “This book was NOT written to be a diet book. It is a children’s book written in rhyme intended to entertain. One of my major goals was, and is, to inspire children of all ages to exercise and eat healthy, nutritious foods.”

He continues, “In this book, 14-year-old Maggie decides to take control of her life without being pushed to do so.” He says that she wants to run faster and get better at sports, and that she also wants to stop being teased by other kids her age.

In another post that I read, opponents of the book say that author Paul M. Kramer’s main character loses weight and magically gains friends. They worry that kind of message could fuel negative attitudes about weight and even lead to eating disorders.

Personally, I’m withholding judgment until I can get my grubby little hands on the book. Meanwhile, I’d like to see the word “diet” as a verb totally wiped from our vocabulary. I try to only use the word “diet” as a noun. I’m never again going to go on a diet, but I’m trying to eat a healthy diet every day. I can’t wait to read for myself what Maggie is up to.

What do you think: Would you encourage your kids to read such a book? Or do you lead by example with a healthy lifestyle, never using the word “diet” as a verb?

Image credit: Aloha Publishers



About the Author

Summer Huggins
Summer Huggins is an amateur photographer, dog-lover, cupcake-eater and shoe-shopper in Austin, Texas. She loves to travel, cook and take in a good movie, and she volunteers with a local pet-rescue organization as a photographer and dog-walker.




  • Anonymous

    I have seen amount of kids who are obsessed with their foods. So diets is essential part for every age of person. There are amount of kids who eating as overwhelming.
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  • http://twitter.com/SummerH Summer Huggins

    I would agree that a *healthy* diet is essential at every age, but *going on* a diet is where I have my concerns for kids…

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