Dieting + Children’s Book: What’s Wrong With This Picture

Dieting + Children’s Book: What’s Wrong With This Picture
Daily Venus Diva

What type of country do we live in where we encourage children to go on diets by placing such a message in a children’s book?

According to Maggie Goes On A Diet is about a 14 year old girl who goes on a diet and is transformed from being extremely overweight and insecure to a normal sized girl who becomes the school soccer star. Through time, exercise and hard work, Maggie becomes more and more confident and develops a positive self image.

Has the author Paul Kramer gone too far?


View Comments (8)


  1. Layla Aaron

    August 24, 2011 at 10:17 am

    I read about this book yesterday and I found myself struggling to come up with words to express how angry and disappointed and saddened this book makes me. As if there are not enough negative messages thrown at women (no matter what size we might be) about our bodies, now there is a book that specifically targets children and teens. This is targeting a vulnerable group at the time when they are struggling to develop a positive sense of self-esteem and a positive body image. By perpetuating the concept that thin equals happy and successful while fat equals unhappy and unsuccessful, the author has gone too far. He is spreading the same gospel but now to the younger crowd.

    ~ Layla

  2. amberlyn calderon

    August 24, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    This is revolting! Kids don’t need this crap. They need to be taught to eat properly and be happy with who they are.

  3. Rebecca

    August 24, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    How about we teach our children to be healthy and to love themselves the way they are… This really saddens me, but what’s worse is that we are hearing more and more of this type of attitude directed at our children (boys to). Just like the “botox mom” in the news who’s already putting these horrible views in her VERY young little girl for pagents, as well as mom’s who wax their 3 and 4 year olds… Maybe I’m alone in this, but big, little, skinny, chunky, blue, purple or green, I want my children (who are 3 and 9) to love themselves for everything they are and NOT what society wants them to be… I’ve dealt with self esteem issues my whole life and it’s taken me a long time to get where I am now (with still a ways to go) and I don’t ever want my children to go through even a moment of self doubt or low self worth regardless of their appearance, I want them to be proud and carry themselves respectfully and confidently because they are perfect just the way they are… This book and all others who share this view, are absolutely sad in my opinion…

  4. Steff D.

    August 24, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    I can just imagine the absolute horror of some sweet 10 to 14 year old being given this book by a parent or vindictive Barbie in her class, or whomever. Then proceeding to start throwing up all her meals or something of the like… Why is it that people think the best way to help someone get out and do more is by making them feel ashamed of themselves??? Oh yeah, I always feel like hitting the gym when someone tells me how gross I am, that’s really when I feel the need to go out and sweat in front of strangers, good call. O_O Seriously? Anyways I’m done ranting but here is a video that always make me feel better, it’s a poem being read by its author and it awesome! It’s called “Pretty.” Please have a look and enjoy!

  5. OceanLoverBC

    August 25, 2011 at 1:46 am

    In answer to the question posed “What type of a country do we live in…” As a Canadian who also lives part-time in the USA I think it safe to say it is North America (e.g. USA and Canada) and not an “American” issue per se; the media constantly bombards the public with messages that we must be thin or we are failures. Fat is the last acceptable prejudice out there. I do 90% of my clothing shopping in the States because where I live (Vancouver) the retail market is predominantly directed at the asian market, size zero, double zero. I came out of the birth canal bigger that that, but I digress…the best thing we can all do is show our support to websites and other forms of media who celebrate women of ALL sizes (and not just the token “get the right ___ for any size (up to 14 max!)” seen in women’s magazines. Retailers are missing out on a large (no pun intended) market and hopefully they will one day wake up to that fact.

  6. Caterina

    August 25, 2011 at 10:33 am

    I suppose it was a matter of time before all the diet fairytale (you diet–>you become happy) started being sold to younger “consumers”. It is sad and infuriating, that they connect dieting with becoming happy, when it’s common knowledge that weight issues in children and teenagers are most times related to serious issues and major changes in their lives. But even if this book’s character was simply a heavier-built, otherwise-happy child, my issue is also something else: in a society where anorexia is becoming some sort of epidemic, targeting children as “fat” can lead to misconceptions about their looks and actually cause more problems than it is supposed to solve. It’s a free market, so when a new product shows up and finds a niche in the market, it is put on the shelf, it’s just unfair for the children and teenagers, that once more some smart-ass is making profit at their expense.

  7. Lost my Weight

    August 25, 2011 at 10:35 am

    I think a lot of what is wrong is people thinking that being overweight is ok. It is not to be celebrated! It is unhealthy and we need to start doing something about childhood obesity. Through time, exercise and hard work….. This is in the book’s description, I say cheers to the author for standing up and helping children. What would you say if your overweight child brought this book home from the library, she chose it and she wants to read it?!?! Tell her she is beautiful when she looks in the mirror and gets teased. Good luck in her believing you, it will only make her feel worse, and helpless. Let’s help our children get fit, healthy and boost their self esteem in the process.

  8. Editor-In-Chief, Stephanie Penn-Danforth

    August 25, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Lost my weight,

    No one is encouraging anyone to celebrate obesity or an unhealthy lifestyle. I think That is a huge misconception….that plus size men and women are saying “go out, eat unhealthy and gain as much weight as possible”. That makes no sense. What I and many others have a problem with is the attempt to make a person feel bad or less than because of their weight.

    The message of DVD is that regardless of your size, you are beautiful inside or out. There are ways to encourage exercise and proper nutrition without encouraging children to diet and this is not the way. Children dieting can lead to a number of issues including eating disorders and this book does not take that into consideration (title alone).

    Furthermore, there are so many other issues to tackle in the world that relate to children such as the following:

    Teen Trafficking
    Youth Violence
    Teen Pregnancy
    and the list goes on……….

    While I agree that children and adults should incorporate physical fitness in their lives, no one has the right to put them down because they are overweight.

    Instead of putting all of our focus on putting down a group of people because of their weight, it’s important that we look at the bigger picture and find the root. Everything isn’t always as simple as society would like to make people believe that it is.

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