New Book for Young Girls Sends the Wrong Message

Maggie Goes on a Diet is a soon-to-be-released book by children’s author Paul Kramer. It focuses on Maggie, a 14-year-old girl who, according to the description, “goes on a diet and is transformed from being extremely overweight and insecure to a normal sized girl who becomes the school soccer star.”

The book is marketed at girls age six to twelve, meaning that very young girls are receiving yet another message that says they aren’t “normal” and that they can only succeed if they are thin.  Eating disorders and low self-esteem are already huge problems: according  to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, the average age for the onset of anorexia is 9 to 12, and 42% of kids grades first through third report wishing they were thinner.

It isn’t that childhood obesity doesn’t exist or isn’t a problem, but the solution is not to create another way for society to tell young girls they aren’t good enough. Instead, why don’t we encourage healthy eating and active lifestyles, as well as self-esteem that comes from the inside?

With that in mind, here’s an alternative list of books for young children that encourage healthy eating and activity:

1)     The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food by Jan and Stan Berenstain

2)      Oh the Things You Can Do That Are Good for You!: All About Staying Healthy by Tish Rabe

3)       Cookie by Lisa Woomer

4)      The Busy Body: A Kid’s Guide to Fitness by Lizzy Rockwell

Do you have any suggestions for kid’s books that promote excersize and healthy eating in a body-positive way? Leave them in the comments!

For more information on eating disorders, click here

Vanessa Wright