I’ve been bombarded by news that a diet book, Maggie goes on a Diet, is about to hit the bookstores.  As you can see from the cartoon cover, the book is meant for kids, not their parents, to consume (no pun intended).

Of course, my initial reaction is one of repulsion.

To be fair, the book is aimed at teens.  But if the readership stats of Seventeen and Teen Vogue magazines tell a story it’s that tweens read what’s meant for teenagers.

Still, should we be promoting diets to kids or teens?  Is that healthy?

But is the alternative better?  Childhood obesity is the biggest health concern facing children in this country.  And, as the saying goes, a fat kid inevitably turns into a fat adult.  If we’re not going to teach our children how to manage their weight and eat healthfully (and, let’s face it, the stats show many of us aren’t doing it, or, at least, not doing it well), shouldn’t we be happy there’s a book out there to guide them along?   As a mom of 3 kids with divergent tastes and different eating habits, it’s really hard to get something they’ll all eat, let alone make sure it’s the healthiest too.  Maybe having other sources to encourage good eating habits could be a plus.

No question putting the word “diet” in the title was a mistake.  I bet if the title used phrases like “eating to be fit” or “eating smarter” the book would have received less flack.  We Americans just don’t like the word “diet.”  Period.

Despite the title I will try to have an open mind about the book.  And even if I think it sucks, I still question whether it’s so bad that kids get some eating advice from other sources beyond school or mom & dad.

Comment or tweet me your thoughts @beautyskew

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