The Over Weight Child

overweight child

The Over Weight Child
Promoting Fitness and Self-Esteem
Pitman and Kaufman

I always cringe when I see books that are aimed at these types of problems. From the parent perspective, it is difficult to see a child struggle with issues. However, there is also that underlying judgment if you just conform, no one will tease you. I would be the first to say that obesity is an important issue and I know that a sedentary lifestyle exacerbates this. I would be willing to guess that a lot of kids know this as well.

I think the author is trying to give good advice, but each one of her suggestions seems trite. Half of these suggestions sound like punishing a kid, given that most of them sound like chores. It is a weeder just based on the age, but I also think that it would be very difficult to write a book that strikes a balance between health issues and helpful advice. The only thing I can say is at least it isn’t this book. Or this one. Or this one.


back cover

kids teasing

get more exercise for kids self esteem


  1. When I was a kid my mom tried just about everything to get me to lose weight. And the weird thing is that I was probably a lot more active than most kids are today. I walked to school daily -without my parents! – Whenever we had snow I’d be outside playing in it until it started to get dark, I had to walk everywhere when visiting my friends and relatives, and in the summer we’d go camping and I’d be out walking, playing or swimming a lot. But no, unless it was exercise that I hated, or a game where I had trouble keeping up with other kids, it didn’t count. 🙁

  2. I think the dumbest suggestion is cancelling a newspaper subscription so your kid has to walk across town to buy it every day. A. That’s not safe. B. That costs a lot more than subscribing. And C. There’s no time to do that before school.

    1. @Aubrey: Who said “across town”? If the kid lives in a city or other walkable, it might just mean walking down to the end of the block.

  3. Photographs taken from that angle are so bad.

    This is a second edition, with the first from 1994. Depending on how much they updated it, the contents of this book may be even more out of date than you might think!

  4. 19 years for quasi-medical advice is pretty old.

    Not had weight issues when young, but I sincerely feel this is something that really needs a legitimate medical professional to assist with. If that is impossible then yes, a current knowledge well researched and written book is good.

  5. Ugh. Being a fat kid isn’t an “issue” anymore than being a tall kid is one. But you know, way to make them HAVE issues like eating disorders.

    Also you’ll more than likely end up with a fat adult anyways. We don’t know how to make fat kids permanently thin anymore than fat adults. We do know dieting is dangerous, though, but sure this is fine and not a dumpster fire.

  6. I know that this book was published 19 years ago, but is that REALLY so far back in time that the medical advice in this book is outdated? lf so, PLEASE give me some reasons why one thinks so?
    What next, would a 2017 book be considered obsolete?

    1. Just thinking about relevant areas that have changed from 2000 to now:
      -high fructose corn syrup/soda awareness
      -high-sugar, low-fat foods like Snackwells being promoted as diet/healthier food
      -The Dietary Guidelines for Americans from the USDA, which change periodically
      -school lunches trying to be healthier
      -mental health awareness/openness
      -social media
      -blood pressure guidelines
      -BMI for children seems to change frequently because it is not a fixed number like for adults
      -weight-loss surgeries that, while not for kids, kids might still have questions about

  7. Joshua, yes, 19-year-old medical advice is out of date. Surgical options are substantially different for most situations, the insurance industry has changed the way hospitals discharge patients, and treatments….wow, VERY different from what was going on in 1998! Heart disease, for example, has a whole different treatment program, diet, and outlook than it did in the 90s. Immune disorders are quite different, just based on my personal experience. And cancer! Holy crow the stuff that’s changed there! The drug regimen alone is a whole new game.

    At my library, we try not to keep anything that’s specific about treatment or diet or anything like that longer than about 5 years at my library. This section is a bear to weed, by the way–finding replacements is hard.

Comments are closed.