I heard about this diet a couple of weeks ago and was hoping it would be a blip in the diet world. It hasn’t gone away and I feel angry.
The “K-E Diet” is one that uses a feeding tube through which 800 calories/day of protein, fat and water is ingested for a total of 10 days.
The K-E Diet offers promises of losing 20 pounds in 10 days. But what they don’t tell you is that this invasive procedure that runs a tube through the nose and down into the stomach can cause loss of muscle, kidney stones, dehydration, constipation, dizziness, headaches, etc. And what happens after the 10 days? Like any diet, I’d imagine that the weight would be gained back, plus some.
This diet du jour can be added to the litany of extreme diets that float around and reinforce body-hatred, self-dissatisfaction and the impossible quest to feel acceptable based upon the size and shape of your body. Thinness at any cost is an ideal that our society has embraced to the detriment of ourselves and our children. This diet is a literal representation of how we are willing to do anything at any cost (financially, physically and emotionally), in the name of thinness and “perfecting” ourselves.
Many desperately grasp at every quick-fix on the market in order to feel better about who they are as a person. But what about promoting an attitude of internal goodness? The sense of being good enough as you are? A culture of body acceptance and self-acceptance?
I encourage us all to rub our eyes and to see, with clarity, what all of these diet deals and steals are and how they slowly destroy our internal sense of self and of being “good enough.” Be outraged and choose to be one more person who isn’t fooled by this diet mentality and challenge yourself to feel, act and believe that you are good enough exactly as you are!
‘Maggie Goes On A Diet’ is a new children’s book, authored and self-published by Paul M. Kramer, due out this October and geared towards readership as young as four-years-old. It tells the story of a 14-year-old adolescent girl who becomes a school soccer star after losing weight by going on a diet and limiting snacks, etc. Aren’t there more effective ways of being a soccer star than going on a diet?
But, perhaps this is really a book about an adolescent girl who gives in to the peer and societal pressures to look a certain way in order to feel good about herself? One of the first things I noticed was the distorted image in the mirror (body image distortion being a hallmark symptom of eating disorders). The second thing I noticed was that Maggie is not holding up an all-star soccer uniform, she is holding up an ultra-thin dress that she is hoping to fit into, one even smaller than her trimmed down mirror image.
As you might imagine, the story has become the target of tremendous controversy and criticism. Many reviews point to the irresponsibility of negatively targeting the self-esteem of young girls, Maggie’s acceptance of the bullying she experiences directed toward her weight, and the sheer danger of exposing children to these messages.
Many are up in arms and speaking out about what they think:
“for any parent to buy [this book] would be unforgivable.”
“4-8 year-olds should not be taught that dieting is a healthy choice.”
“The idea of this book makes me want to either cry or scream – actually both.”
“This is a dangerous book.”
Hundreds of reviews have addressed how this book, and the like, will contribute to early-onset eating disorders. Many have gone so far as to ask that Mr. Kramer remove the book from the market.
Mr. Kramer maintains that his book is not aimed at preschoolers and stated to Fox News that “I’m not advocating, never did, that any child should go on a diet. First of all, this is a change of lifestyle. This is not meant to be to go on a diet.” Here is his side of the story.
So… is this truly a case of judging a book by its cover (the book has not yet been released) or is there enough here to warrant the verbal barbs it has suffered thus far? What do you think?
A 10-year longitudinal study by University of Minnesota researchers yielded significant findings that girls who demonstrate weight control measures in early adolescence are highly likely to carry these behaviors into adulthood. The same was true for the male group.
This speaks volumes to the unequivocal importance of addressing disordered eating and weight control behaviors as early as possible. We need to raise our awareness of how much time, focus and modeling of these behaviors we offer our children and address these issues as soon as we notice them. We must offer an alternative to this negative thinking and obsessiveness about food, weight and body image and teach them to accept themselves and their bodies as they are meant to be. What can you do, right now, today, to model self-acceptance to those around you?
The article is “Dieting and disordered eating behaviors from adolescence to young adulthood: Findings from a 10-year longitudinal study” by Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, PhD, MPH, RD; Melanie Wall, PhD; Nicole I. Larson, PhD, MPH, RD; Marla E. Eisenberg, ScD, MPH; and Katie Loth, MPH, RD. It appears in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Volume 111, Issue 7 (July 2011) published by Elsevier.