'Maggie Goes on a Diet' a Happy Story for Kids?

The picture book, set for a fall release, is stirring controversy.

By Lesley Kennedy • MORE.com Reporter

I know I am fat
but soon I'll be thin!
Just look at me diet
and go from loser to win!

With many, many apologies to Dr. Seuss, that’s the message some say an upcoming book for kids, Maggie Goes on a Diet, by Paul M. Kramer, will be sending.

ABC News reports that the book, set for release in October, tracks Maggie, 14, who diets her way to a starring role on her school’s soccer team. Targeted readers? Kids ages 6 to 12, or as young as 4 to 8, depending which book seller website you go to, according to the network.

Kramer, who also wrote Bullies Beware, Do Not Dread Wetting the Bed and Divorce Stinks!, couldn’t be reached by ABC for comment, but nutrition and body image experts are already dissing the book, before even seeing it.

A role model like Maggie sends the message that “if you don't look like Cinderella, you're a failure,” Joanne Ikeda, a University of California-Berkeley nutritionist emeritus, tells the network. “I wouldn't want a child to read this ... because they might, in fact, try to do this and fail. What is that going to do to their self-esteem?”

What do you think? Is the book a weapon needed to fight the childhood obesity battle? Or is this just one big, fat mistake? Leave a comment below!

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First Published August 22, 2011

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