Maggie Goes on a Diet. Feedback Friday

My friend Shelley, from Single Stone Studios, suggested this week's Feedback Friday topic: The children's book, "Maggie Goes on a Diet" by Paul Kramer.

The book, to be released in October to a target audience of age 6 and up, is described as follows: "This book 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." amazon

Good Morning America covered this story:

And here is the author's response:

It's Feedback Friday...

What is your gut reaction to this book?

Do you think this book promotes a healthy lifestyle or promotes eating disorders and encourages society's discrimination against the overweight?


  1. If a child is overweight, I don't think a children's book is going to help. A book for her parents about helping your kids make better health choices might. Parents need to step up and actually do some parenting. However, kids are just built different too. I have 3 kids: one is supper skinny, one is medium, and one is built like a football player (which he is). I try to help all 3 make healthy choices, despite their BMI.

  2. I'm all for healthy choices with both food & excercise, but I really dislike the message that thin, athletic Maggie has tons of friends and chubby Maggie doesn't. All you need to do is drop that weight, and people will love you, and you can be friends with those people. Ugh.

  3. I HATE the word "normal" in the book's description. She goes on a diet to be "normal" sized. So you're not a normal little girl if you're larger than average? That's a terrible terrible thing to say to a little girl. And the fact that Maggie is a little girl and not a little boy... so everything. If it was about "Maggie was feeling sick so she ate more vegetables and now she feels healthier" I'd be all about it!

    Just pretty much downright disgusting. I would never give this book to a child EVER.

  4. I'm okay with the book. Maybe a word change here and there but I like the concept.
    Reality is that we are an obese society; I'm one of them. Even though 'Normal' is oversized but the skinnys of the world are still very prejudice and cruel.
    I think the author is really trying to show oversized children a way out of the cruelity. A healthy way out that their parents aren't providing.
    IMHO, the author is correct in showing that the child will have more friends. I've lived it and seen it. Maybe being a soccer star was stretching.

  5. I've been thinking about this since I saw it a few days ago. I go back and forth with some of the things. The title is a little strong to me, tho it's getting the media attention it as intended for. To say Maggie CHANGES her diet would be a whole new concept and support the author's explaination of the title. He uses the word diet in exactly the way he says society has twisted it. I found that very interesting.

    I think the book could be a great tool for families to read together. To talk about and making healthy changes for everyone. Maybe there will be a kid who reads it and makes changes on their own but parents really need to step up and be leaders.

  6. I definitely don't think you need to be thin to have friends or to play sports. In fact, sports are a great way for kids to get exercise! And I don't think kids need to go on a diet, they just need to exercise and eat healthy. I really don't like the whole "diet" thing. Because once we get off the "diet" we go back to our regular eating habits and the weight comes right back on, plus more! We need to worry about being healthy which means eating well balanced meals and exercising and it may not be that we wear a size 2.

  7. This author is an idiot. I think he is mentally incompetent. He is obese.

  8. I'm all about promoting a healthy lifestyle of nutrition and exercise to children.

    The problem I have with this book is that it doesn't actually send that message. Instead, it sends the message that if your skinny, you will be popular and have more friends and suddenly be coordinated at sports (I was skinny at 14 and NOT at all coordinated!!) It sends the message that if you're thinner, you will be happy. Maggie's motivation for losing wait is a pair of skinny jeans and NOT being healthy (if you noticed, that IS and actually picture in the book!) That is sending a dangerous message to children.

    If the book was about Maggie changing her habits and feeling better about herself because she was healthy and physically felt better, then I'd be OK with it.

  9. I agree with a lot that has been said about this book. One of my biggest problems with this book is the message of skinny=popular and happy while fat=bullied and sad. As child and teenager (and even now as an adult) I was thin but I was still bullied and didn't always have friends. The homecoming queen my sophmore year was not a thin model like girl but she was an athlete. I don't know if I would ever give this book to a child. I do feel something needs to be done about childhood (and adult) obesity but I am not sure if this book helps. Maybe it will open parents eyes that they need to make changes for their children.

  10. I despise any talk to younger children about obesity, as I think it can cause insecurity. I'd suggest they address issues like promoting healthy eating and wellness initiatives. Same result.

  11. I think it's absolutely a shame that the book focuses on popularity that comes from looks and athletic achievement. First of all, that type of popularity doesn't always lead to real friendships. Second of all, this isn't about health. It's about beauty. A better book would be, "Maggie Gets Healthy" or "Maggie Gets Happy," in which Maggie begins eating better and exercising because it makes her FEEL GOOD.

    As someone who has had weight problems since the age of eight, I can say that any book that was all about how fat girls get made fun of would have done nothing but reinforce my secret fears that everybody I knew was laughing at me behind my back. As it was, I was lucky--I did get made fun of a lot, but I also had good, close friends who insulated me from a lot of teasing.

    I can't imagine the self-hatred that would have insinuated itself into my life if I read a book all about how the way to be popular and liked was to be skinny.

  12. I think the author needs to worry about his own weight loss and leave 6 year old + girls alone. That is DISGUSTING. My children will *never read it, and heaven help the person who gives it to them or suggests it to them. It's one thing to offer healthy eating books, exercise-is-good books, but DIET books? It's not even healthy for 14 year olds to diet. Blah. That makes me sick.


Tell me what you think!

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