*****PLEASE READ MY FOLLOW UP TO THIS POST HERE*****
So, in my crazy amounts of time off, I get to sit down and enjoy my breakfast with either reruns of Frasier, Good Morning America, or, if I’ve had a rare sleep-in, Regis and Kelly. For those of you reading this blog after November, Regis Philbin was a daytime talk show host whose Bronx accent confused me as a child: “Why does nobody get that man a speech therapist so he can learn to say his R’s?”
But I digress.
One morning, while eating at my non-sleep in time, I saw a feature on Good Morning America. Apparently some
douchebag children’s author (Paul M. Kramer) out there decided to write a children’s book titled “Maggie Goes On A Diet”.
14-year-old Maggie gets made fun of for her weight, which makes her sad, so she binges on “lots of bread and cheeses” to stuff down her feelings. Maggie then goes on a diet and exercises to lose weight. Suddenly, skinny Maggie has friends and is a soccer star. None of which she could have done if she were still fat.
WHAT THE FUCK!?!? Okay. I know there’s a huge problem with obesity in North America, but this book is being marketed to 6-year-old girls! No child needs to run on a treadmill while holding dumbbells. And, unless you have an allergy, nobody EVER needs to cut foods out of their diet entirely. Teaching children that some foods are good and some foods are bad is like handing them a loaded gun . . . one that shoots an unending monologue of self-hatred directly into their brains.
I have clear memories of kindergarten nap time, listening to the teacher read stories of fairy tale princesses. These were enough to put the seed in my 5-year-old mind of “My thighs are too fat to ever be a fairy tale princess”. Imagine if Sleeping Beauty had featured a step-by-step guide of how to slim that pesky child-belly into a more princess-like shape. That’s essentially what Maggie is doing. If my (not overweight in the slightest) child self had read this book, you can bet I would have been begging for a treadmill for Christmas, and cutting bread and cheese out of my diet.
Even now, more than 20 years older and wiser, I hear this story and immediately panic about my own meal plan. It contains both bread AND cheese, and not just until I’m at a healthy weight, but both will be in my “maintenance” meal plan as well. Suddenly I’m looking at them and wondering if everything I’ve learned these past months is wrong and there really are bad foods . . . (There aren’t, just in case you are wondering. Only foods that should be enjoyed in moderation. There are some questionable food combinations out there *ahem Denny’s*, but no natural, unprocessed food is bad)
This book, while I’m sure well-intentioned, is CANCER. I beg of you, PLEASE don’t let anyone you know buy this book. Teach your children about health, REAL health, yourself and make sure the information they hear doesn’t get corrupted by those who think the word “diet” is a verb.