A new book aimed at kids aged 6-12 tells the story of an overweight 14-year-old girl who goes on a diet and becomes popular after losing weight. “Maggie Goes on a Diet,” will be released in October, but the book is already embroiled in controversy.
The cover features pudgy Maggie standing in front of a mirror holding a pink party dress that is clearly too small. Her reflection is a much thinner girl. According to a plot summary, Maggie “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.”
Comments and blog posts all over the Internet are criticizing the book. One comment quoted by ABC’s Good Morning America says, “It takes so little to trigger eating disorders in children…this could be such a huge trigger.”
Author Paul M. Kramer told Good Morning America the book deals with “issues that kids today face.”
“My intentions were just to write a story to entice and to have children feel better about themselves, discover a new way of eating, learn to do exercise, try to emulate Maggie and learn from Maggie’s experience,” Kramer said.