MarionP's Blog

MarionP

Sep 07

Maggie Goes On A Diet raises concerns of childhood obesity

By MarionP Posted in: childhoodobesity, childnutrition, diet, maggie, maggiegoesondiet, obesity, overweight, overweightchild
Childhood obesity in the U.S. is a large issue. About 17 percent of all children under the age of 19 would be regarded as medically overweight. One publication, recently listed on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble attempts to tackle this epidemic carefully, with nutritional guidance. This book, however, could possibly be doing a lot of damage. Child specialists and nutrition experts are saying that this publication doesn't approach kid's weight issues in a secure and rational way. Article source: Maggie Goes On A Diet raises questions of childhood obesity

The girl in the publication becomes popular by getting skinny

Recently listed on Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites for sale later this year, "Maggie Goes on a Diet" is a publication about a 14-year-old girl who starts out overweight and unpopular. Through eating right and exercising, Maggie loses weight, becomes a soccer star and ends up being popular. The publication is for a certain audience. All kids 4 to 12 are encouraged to read it. In the book, it is all rhyme. It is something for children and parents to sit down together to read.

Publication causes controversy

The Hawaii-based author Paul Kramer stated:
"My intentions were just to write a story to entice and to have children feel better about themselves, discover a new way of eating, learn to do exercise, make an effort to emulate Maggie and learn from Maggie's experience."
Children's health experts, however, are strongly questioning "Maggie Goes on a Diet." In general, nutritionists and pediatricians recommend that kids eat balanced meals and exercise regularly but do not take on a calorie-counting or appearance-based diet. Growth is often stunted by a calorie cutting diet for a kid before puberty. Before age 13, children should not be restricting calories since it can lead to an adult who is overweight more often than a child who didn’t count calories.

Concerns about eating disorders

”Maggie Goes on a Diet” is about exercising and eating right. Still, many have worried that eating disorders might be created with it. Because the main character of “Maggie Goes on a Diet” doesn’t like her body, she begins to make changes. The book is targeted toward kids who are the age where eating issues can often start to develop. In general, about 4 out of every 100 women in the U.S. will develop an eating disorder at some time in their lives. Anorexia, bulimia and binge eating are severe medical disorders that can have long-lasting effects on an individual's heath. If children make a connection between being skinny and being popular, it might be disastrous. It might end in more eating issues being developed.

Sometimes have to just grow up

Rather than doing things to lower weight specifically, nutritionists think that children who are overweight should be given healthier habits to grow into a weight. Make sure rather than counting calories that children are getting whole grains, vegetables and low-fat milk. It could be very hard on kids with school lunch programs. This is because school lunches often consist of fries and pizza, which have lots of fat and calories in them.

Articles cited

WebMD http://children.webmd.com/features/eating-disorders-children-teens?page=2
US Department of Health and Human Services
http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/child_obesity/
LA Times http://articles.latimes.com/2011/aug/23/news/la-heb-maggie-goes-on-a-diet-book-20110823
ABC News
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/maggie-diet-author-paul-kramer-defends-teen-dieting/story?id=14362132&page=2
CDC http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/trends.html USA Today http://www.usatoday.com/yourlife/food/diet-nutrition/2011-01-12-schoollunch13_ST_N.htm

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