Diet Book For Children Is a Concern

There are two significant problems with a book like Maggie Goes on a Diet, which is pitched at pre-teens and preaches dieting as the best form of weight loss.

The first problem is that young children should not be dieting.  On the child related health website,, it states that, “Diets that don’t include a variety of nutritious foods, or have too few calories, can be dangerous for kids.”

My second concern is the type of messages we send kids about weight.  At a time when these young children are trying to work out who they are and trying to find a sense of self it is terribly destructive to focus on their weight.  Children who need to lose weight don’t need a novel to tell them that.  They need a support network of loving parents and dietitians who will be able to consider the child’s virtues as well as their struggles.

As much as childhood obesity is a concern, in my view children lacking in confidence is of far greater concern.  It is not sufficient to tear down a childs self-esteem by recommending diets and drawing attention to their weight.  To be motivated to do anything positive one has to be in a positive mindframe.  You have to believe in yourself and think of yourself as worthy of the breakthrough.

I too have written a book (albeit not yet published) that focusses on an obese child.  But I have taken a very different approach.  My child learns not to obsess about his weight and see the bigger picture.  He is not going to get thin tomorrow, but in trying to improve his health he will reflect on the things he has learnt about himself over the course of the journey.

I don’t think the carrot stick for potato chip packet works or is very responsible.

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2 Responses to “Diet Book For Children Is a Concern”

  1. hunkasebnest Says:

    I am a former special education teacher and I wrote a children’s picture book that tackles the issue of childhood obesity. Hunka Chunka Monkey Shapes Up entertains children without being preachy. It places a simple truth as a foundation in their hearts… cut back on their favorite snack, become active and make new friends.

    Chris Powell of ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition reads my book to his children every night. He stated on his FaceBook, “The kids are requesting Hunka Chunka Monkey Shapes Up for their bedtime story tonight….AGAIN! This is the third in a row, but I love it. What a great message of healthy living for children:). Nicely done, Sam E Bromley!” Chris’s wife, Heidi Powell, used such words as ‘amazing’ and ‘brilliant’ when describing my story! I am excited about getting this message out. You can go to and type in my book’s name: Hunka Chunka Monkey Shapes Up and see a brief message about my story! Please pass this on for all to see and partner with me and let us stop the obesity problem in America by encouraging the very young to skip, run and jump their way to a better life and a better future!

    Sam E Bromley

  2. Carl D'Agostino Says:

    It was astonishing that at least half of my 11th grade girls were in the 200-300+ pound range ! At just 16 or 17 years old ! In the morning I would stop by the corner store on the way to school and watch kids spend their lunch money on candy, gum, donuts and sweet drinks. Gave them a supply of sugar for the day but empty calories and no nutrition for growing bodies. All the classroom food pyramid teaching in the world is not going to change it.

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