Here’s an update on the earlier post today about the controversial, new book (not yet available) “Maggie Goes on a Diet,” (Alohan, 2011) and how many experts, including the one quoted extensively in the previous post, believe that encouraging overweight children to diet can be psychologically damaging.

The book’s author, Paul M. Kramer, wants to explain. He thinks struggling with weight issues can be psychologically damaging as well. He’s been stung by the abundance of criticism his book, not expected to be released until October, received, especially because his intent was to help children avoid some of the problems he’s encountered himself.

Here is the text of a note Kramer sent me:

“I am not a physician nor do I claim to be a dietary expert. This book wasNOT written to be a diet book. It is a children’s book written in rhyme intended to entertain. One of my major goals was, and is, to inspire children of all ages to exercise and eat healthy, nutritious foods.

If a child begins an exercise program and modifies their eating habits by eating plenty of healthy and nutritious food, they can build a future foundation for positive eating habits and an improved self-image.

I DO NOT maintain that the message in this book is a quick fix or that anyone who goes on a diet will be happier, or will be more popular or become a soccer star.

In this book, 14-year-old Maggie decides to take control of her life without being pushed to do so. Her intent was to become more physically fit, which would enable her to run faster, bend more easily, and improve her skills in playing sports. She was also tired of being teased, which was unpleasant at best.

I am in favor of communicating the eating healthy message to children and adults of all ages.

I have been taught that one should NOT judge a book by its cover.

I have struggled with obesity for a good deal of my life and I also have begun an exercise program and I am eating healthier, more nutritious foods.

It is also my opinion that “DIET” is not a dirty word.”

What’s your take? Is “diet” a word to ban when it comes to children?