Thursday, August 18, 2011

Let's encourage little girls to diet! Brilliant!

Although I pilfer most of my links from Jezebel, and I'm trying very hard to stop doing this, I found this GEM through my daily reading of that site.

The book, which ostensibly encourages youngsters to eat appropriately and exercise, is ... well ... appalling.

I remember when I was in my early teens ... yeah, that's right, that's when my eating disorder started. Let's remember that environmental factors are not the only components to eating disorder development, but I can guarantee you that books like this would have just made things worse for me (and the other, what, 1/3 of girls who have disordered eating patterns). I had problems just going to the doctor and finding out I was "overweight," even though I played 3 sports.

Furthermore, let's remember that a large percentage of our nation's young women would rather be hit by a truck than be fat. Information here.

So, what about those girls who play sports, like Maggie did (and I did), and still don't lose weight? This book implies that it's their fault ... although they might just be sturdy little soccer players like me! What about those of us who remain physically fit, yet straddle the clinical definitions of overweight/obese?

I just can't see this book as anything but a mortifying and appalling excuse for a "positive health message." Read a health marketing book, lady. Guilt doesn't work to change behavior, and you're expecting kids to have the cognition to understand the concepts in this book without adopting harmful strategies. #facepalm

If people like this keep dominating the health communications marketplace, we're all doomed.

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