LOS ANGELES, Sept. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ —
When filmmaker Darryl Roberts realized the premise of the upcoming book, Maggie Goes on a Diet, he was more than a little concerned about the message. His initial reaction was disgust. Maggie Goes on a Diet to be released on October 16, 2011 is about a 14-year old girl who goes on a diet. In the beginning of the book, 14-year old Maggie is being called ‘fatty’ and ‘chubby’ by classmates. So she decides to go on a diet to be more acceptable by her peers. Even though the book surrounds a 14-year old girl, it targets a much younger audience. Barnes & Noble’s website says the book is for young readers 6 to 12; Amazon’s website says ages 4 to 8. Roberts says, “Young girls have enough to worry about without adding the message that in order to conquer adversity you have to diet and lose weight. I wonder if the author has any daughters?” SEE TRAILER BELOW
After thinking about the potential harm to young girls, Mr. Roberts realized that regardless of how he felt about it, the book was coming out. So he decided to release his new film “America the Beautiful 2: The Thin Commandments” the same weekend that the book is being released; October 12th in New York at the Quad Theater and October 14th in Los Angeles at the Laemmle Sunset 5. He says, “I can’t stop the book from coming out but I can counter the book’s potentially harmful dieting message with my message which is you can become healthy and happy without dieting and losing weight.”
He wasn’t alone in this reaction. Carolyn Costin, eating disorder specialist and founder of Monte Nido Treatment Center, has joined the filmmaker to convey their opposition to the book’s message. She says, “With the knowledge we have today about the failure and dangers of dieting, why would anyone ever promote it, especially in young kids not sophisticated enough to separate myth from reality or fact from fiction.”
She also says, “As an eating disorder therapist, I have seen more serious damage wrought by dieting than anyone; wrecked metabolisms, brittle bones, emaciated bodies, damaged colons, premature deaths and families destroyed.”
Costin does believe that author, Paul Kramer meant well, but she says suggesting that young Maggie’s secret to happiness is weight loss is misguided and misleading.
Roberts’ first film, America the Beautiful received rave reviews from critics and audiences around the globe. The filmmaker hopes that the passionate and sometimes humorous America the Beautiful 2: The Thin Commandments will also get the needed message out to the world that “What We Look Like Is Not More Important Than Our Health and Who We Are.”