Children and Teens Afraid to Eat: Helping Youth in Today's Weight-Obsessed World


Documenting the overwhelming physical and mental effects of the pressure to be thin, this book examines the way weight obsession consumes America's youth. It describes four major weight and eating problems-eating disorders, dysfunctional eating, size prejudice, and overweight-and shows healthy ways to change. A valuable resource for parents, teachers, and health professionals, it explains new ways to nurture children and prevent weight problems.

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Paperback (3RD, REVISED)
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Documenting the overwhelming physical and mental effects of the pressure to be thin, this book examines the way weight obsession consumes America's youth. It describes four major weight and eating problems-eating disorders, dysfunctional eating, size prejudice, and overweight-and shows healthy ways to change. A valuable resource for parents, teachers, and health professionals, it explains new ways to nurture children and prevent weight problems.

The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Ryna Levy-Milne, PhD, RDN (University of British Columbia)
Description: This third edition provides a comprehensive overview of six major eating and weight problems affecting youth and guidance on how to resolve these issues.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide facts and research on the plight of today's youth regarding weight issues and practical guidelines on how to make changes in the home and community to resolve these issues.
Audience: The intended audience includes healthcare practitioners, parents, and teachers. The author is a credible expert in the area of disordered eating and weight issues.
Features: The author believes in the "health at any size" paradigm, "a health-centered approach that focuses on health and well-being, not weight." She recommends a healthful "vitality" lifestyle approach that focuses on healthy eating, increased movement, and improving self-esteem. This book is well written and easy to read and is presented in a user-friendly format.
Assessment: Due to the increased prevalence of eating disorders and obesity in our youth, this book is invaluable to all care providers. It not only provides insight into the eating and weight issues that North American youths face but also provides a user-friendly approach in the form of self-help tools, check lists, etc. that is often lacking in the educational system and resources available.
This is a comprehensive study of dysfunctional eating behavior, an epidemic that is affecting Americans of all ages, without discrimination. Most sufferers have been girls, but today more and more boys feel a need to have a specific body type. The book is not limited to discussions about anorexia and bulimia. There are as well anecdotes about adolescents' (non-) acceptance of themselves no matter what size they are. What can parents and teachers do to encourage self-acceptance in these children? As early as Chapter 1: Growing Up Afraid to Eat, Berg begins her suggestions, and includes a wonderful "Health at any Size" chart that diagrams how school, family, peers, media, and healthcare providers contribute to healthy children of all sizes living actively, eating well, and feeling good about themselves and others. On the preceding page, there is a truly funny paragraph that talks about the 1990s Chicago Bulls and how they all registered as having body masses that would label them "obese." Obviously the Body Mass Index, BMI, is being used improperly. The appendix includes a chart of BMI, notes for each chapter, and an extensive bibliography. The style is eminently readable, not only for parents and health-care professionals, but also for teachers and mature high school students. (402 South 14th St., Hettinger, ND 58639). KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2001, Healthy Weight Network, 177p, notes, bibliog, index, 23cm, $19.95. Ages 16 to adult. Reviewer: Judith H. Silverman; Chevy Chase, MD, March 2001 (Vol. 35 No. 2)

4 Stars! from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780918532558
  • Publisher: Healthy Weight Network
  • Publication date: 1/28/2001
  • Series: Afraid to Eat Series
  • Edition description: 3RD, REVISED
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 350
  • Product dimensions: 6.05 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Frances M. Berg is a licensed nutritionist, an adjunct professor at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine, and the editor of Healthy Weight Journal. She lives in Hettinger, North Dakota.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2000

    A Book ALL Parents and Teachers Should Read

    Without a doubt, this book should be reading material for all parents before their first child is born. We want to think our youth are active and healthy. During my years of teaching, I have been more and more disturbed at inactivity of our children, disruption of normal eating, and the amount of fat and sugar calories served in the lunch room. The food the children who carry their lunch, bring from home can be nourishing, but parents might be surprised if they watch their children eat. A child¿s lunch sack might have a good turkey sandwich with greens, two large cookies, a bar of candy, and a soft drink. The child almost always has the candy ond/or cookies at recess. When lunchtime comes, he often throws that good sandwich in the trash with the apple. The food he brought from home has now become two cookies, candy, and a soft drink. During recess too many children are inactive. Day after day, we watched the same ones stand around talking all recess while they eat their candy or cookies. After observing this for a few years, we scheduled a quarter-mile run twice a week and a full mile on Friday for P. E. Also, three times a week we have exercises appropriate to the age groups. You¿d be surprised how many look forward to all the activity once they get used to it. We think it also stimulates brain activity in the classroom. On the other hand, there are the healthy, active children who might have a cookie at recess, then play hard. They eat their sandwich and apple at lunch and the cookies and are eaten or saved for after school. In these children¿s lunch boxes there is porbably no candy. What¿s happening here? Berg says studies show that parents that don¿t ¿bug¿ their children about eating, produce children who don¿t have hang-ups about eating. Berg writes that research shows that family attitudes can play a big part in the future eating patterns of their children. When a healthy baby¿s hunger is satisfied, it will then stop drinking. Parents who ¿urge him to finish the bottle, disguise cereal with applesauce to get it down¿ and thus feel frustrated for fear the baby isn¿t eating enough, is teaching the infant that it¿s important to eat more than his body needs. All parents should read carefully and think about what Berg has to say. A parent who ¿hesitates to let a chubby toddler have seconds, makes a preschooler stay at the table until she finishes her peas, insists that the child eat `two bites of each food,¿ or lectures a school-age child to get him to drink his overmanaging, and it teaches children to ignore their natural signals of hunger and satiety.¿ By allowing a child to listen and heed these natural signals, Berg tells us that this is an important way to begin the youngster on a lifetime of healthy eating patterns. Americans serve too large portions. A friend of mine returned from a long vacation in England and remarked that she didn¿t see an overweight English person all the time she was there. I said I was surprised, I always thought Britons were gluttons. She said she did, too, but she didn¿t see any. Berg tells why. ¿A Healthy Weight Journal subscriber in London sent me an article titled: `Portions all out of Proportion¿ that decried `America¿s elephantine cuisine.¿ The writer compares national foods: hot dogs (350 calories in the U.S. versus 150 calories in Britain), cookies (493 vs. 65), ice cream cone (625 vs.160), muffin (705 vs. 158), and a meal of steak and fries (2,060 vs. 730). Until recently, our very large muffins were called ¿jumbo muffins,¿ the article notes, now they are simply `muffins.¿ ¿ Apparently, we are the ones who have become the nation of gluttons. Berg says that even some our food that is considered healthy, non-junk food is astoundingly high in calories. And the more a child above the a

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