Yes, this is serious. Maggie Goes on a Diet is a new children's diet book that's slated to arrive in bookstores this October.
The story is simple enough. Maggie is 14 and overweight. "Through time, exercise and hard work, Maggie becomes more and more confident and develops a positive self image" the book description reads.
Seems harmless enough, right? Obesity is a sad reality that some of our children have to deal with, so why not offer a book that puts it all in perspective for them? Call me crazy, but I'm not opposed to children's diet books. I just think choosing the target audience is critical. And this is where I think Maggie Goes on a Diet fails. The story's heroine is 14 but the book is written at the reading level of children ages 4-8. Why the disparity?
The fact remains, Maggie is breaking new ground in the world of children's books and as scary as it is to have to talk to kids about dieting, it's a reality for some parents. So why not have a book that makes it a little easier?
I haven't read this one yet, but it sounds like it offers a healthy, balanced plan for weight loss and healthy living. It may be sad that we even need books like this, but isn't is better to have a book the deals with the topic responsibly rather than having children starve themselves... or remain dangerously overweight because no one wants to face reality.
What do you think? Do you think children's diet books are a bad idea? Would you buy one for your kids? And speaking of buying: would you buy one of these for your car? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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