Friday, May 8, 2015

Book Review: The Diet for Teenagers Only

A Fair Trade Book

Title: The Diet for Teenagers Only
Author: Carrie Wiatt and Barbara Schroeder

Author's web page: (she also has a Facebook page)

Date: 2005
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0-06-079361-9
Length: 244 pages
Illustrations: lots of line drawings, plus cut-out photos illustrating diet-sized portions of food
Quote: “If healthy dieting is your goal, follow The Diet for Teenagers Only for 7 days, and you’ll lose some weight. Then, if you need to lose more, you’ll know how to do it safely.”
The Diet for Teenagers Only is a book written with good intentions. It tries hard to reach out to teenagers, with lots of colloquialisms and references to web sites. It tries to offer good general advice for teenagers (female only) in view of the fact that, although it’s certainly possible for teenagers (male or female) to need to lose ugly flab, the years between ages 10 and 25 are a time when healthy human bodies are meant to gain bone, muscle, and internal organ mass. (Between ages 20 and 25, people aren't "teenagers," but they are still growing.)
The only problem I see with Wiatt's advice is that, although it’s nice, levelheaded advice that won’t kill readers, it’s too general to offer much help to some readers. As many as half of all teenagers who are concerned about their body shapes probably have some food tolerance issues. The Diet for Teenagers Only doesn’t offer much guidance to them—just a vague hint that soy milk and soy cheese are precise analogues to cow’s milk and cheese (they’re not) for the lactose-intolerant, and nothing at all for the gluten-intolerant, sugar-sensitive, or yeast-imbalanced reader.
People with unsuspected gluten intolerance can have two different looks. If we’re lucky, our bodies simply fail to absorb other nutrients while they’re reacting to wheat, so we look like famine victims—skinny, flabby, bloated. If our problems are even more serious, our thyroid glands malfunction, and we become obese and may gain weight while fasting. Teenagers usually haven’t had time to develop either look to a really conspicuous degree, but if they’re growing in either of these ugly directions they will be aware that they don’t look as good in bikinis as they want to look. The Diet for Teenagers Only won’t help them.
But if you are, or your teenaged relatives or students are, among the lucky people who can digest everything—wheat, meat, fish, cheese, nuts, soy sauce, yeast, eggs, fruits, spices and all—then The Diet for Teenagers Only offers a nice sensible alternative to the unbalanced fad diets out there. There are some simple recipes for high-nutrient, low-fat snacks teenagers will probably enjoy cooking and eating. There’s also some good information about exercise and eating disorders. For you lucky people, this weight control plan may even work. It wouldn’t have worked for me and I would not now recommend this book to my niece...but I’ll try to contain my envy in the event that this book works for you.

The Diet for Teenagers Only is a Fair Trade Book. Wiatt is actively publicizing other books as well as this one. You may find lower prices online or in the real world, but if you send salolianigodagewi @ $5 for the book + $5 (per package, not per book) for shipping, we'll send Wiatt or a charity of her choice $1.