Parents & Health Experts Frustrated By ‘Diet’ Book

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Theresa Merola Hernandez does everything she can to make sure her girls eat right.  Dinner for the family in Frisco Monday night was chicken, broccoli and some berries for dessert.

“I emphasize fruits and vegetables every day, but I don’t deprive them either,” says Merola Hernandez.

The mother of two won’t be rushing to the book store in October to buy a yet to be released children’s book called ‘Maggie Goes on a Diet.’

The book, about an overweight girl who joins the soccer team after starting a diet and exercise plan, is aimed at girls between 6 and 12.  “There are two words in the book that makes me uncomfortable, and they are two words we don’t use in this house, and that’s diet and fat,” says Merola Hernandez.

Health experts recognize the importance of fighting childhood obesity, but some think the book is sending the wrong message.  “You should never want to encourage dieting,” says Amy Goodson, who is a Texas Health Fort Worth Registered Dietitian “The best thing to do is encourage healthy behaviors.  We want kids to eat nutrition rich foods like string cheese and crackers and peanut butter and apples.”

Goodson works with young kids, and says there’s a better way to teach kids about eating healthy.  She encourages parents to visit for recipes and ideas.  “The goal is to help them want to move and exercise by being active,” explains Goodson.

That’s what Merola Hernandez encourages with her girls.  She says she is their best example, “They mimic me.  If I sat around and ate cookies all day, they are going to want to do the same thing, so I make sure I eat healthy.”

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  • NiteNurse

    Here’s a quick and easy tip for getting your kids skinny again. Get rid of the TV and the video games. The pounds will melt away trust me it will happen.

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  • Yankee

    New Yorkers eat street food on a daily basis (Sabrett’s and Nathan’s hot dogs, slice of pizza pie, burgers, etc.), yet they’re fitter than most people in North Texas. Why? Because they WALK everywhere. They walk the dog, they walk in the park, they walk to the subway, they walk to the store. Here in North Texas, there is really no choice but to drive everywhere. Ergo, healthy behaviors are extremely important, and that includes getting your corpulent ass out of the house for a walk, rather than watching Hell’s Kitchen or What Not To Wear.

    • 2sister

      You can loose weight from exercise, but if you continue to heat unhealthy, you can still have other health issues that might not be obvious from just looking at someone. For example, someone can have high cholesterol and be thin. The best way to be healthy is to eat correctly, exercise, and get enough sleep.

  • rd

    I wouldn’t exactly call crackers “nutrition rich.” And the goal with overweight kids should not be losing weight, rather, to control normal weight gain while they get taller. If they get taller and don’t gain weight, then they will naturally thin out. and NiteNurse is right. I’ve seen two of my nephews sit around on the computer all day, and they are overweight.

    • 2sister

      Yes, but if you teach kids from the start how to eat healthy and exercise, they are most likely going to be a healthy weight.

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  • WHAT?!

    Crackers?! Peanut butter?! Get your oils from omega-rich foods like fish, or supplements, not PEANUT BUTTER! Crackers? Gluten, bleached flour, and carbs. This person is a nutritionist?!

    • 2sister

      It depends on the kind of peanut butter, and how much you eat. There are peanut butters out their that only consists of peanuts and salt. Also, peanuts have a healthy kind of fat. Again, you just have to eat in moderation. It shouldn’t be the only thing you eat.

      • Kramer K. Kramer

        That’s OK. We understand your typing fingers may have been compromised by the greasy chitlins and the grape drink.

      • 2sister

        oops. I meant out there and not out their.

  • Trustme

    Those parents that are upset with the words diet and fat is because your kids are FAT and Need to DIET!

    • Ricky Simons

      YEP! Big amen there.

    • C Bauer

      So true. I see so many obese kids, some of them morbidly obese, walking around with their parents at Wal-Mart. It seems that I only see them at Wal-Mart and not Target, Tom Thumb, Central Market, etc. They’re of all races, but the most prevalent seems to be among the Latinos. Those kids especially, look like dog ticks about to pop. The parents should be flogged.

  • Sensitive

    maybe the fat parents need to read it first then explain it to the fat kids.

  • NiteNurse

    In the movie “Food Inc.” they profile this family who basically feeds their family fast food because it’s cheaper.

    • Niman Ranch RULES

      You’re thinking of “Super Size Me”. Food Inc. is about Big Food, farmers who are paid well to raise genetically modified chickens, etc.

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