You may have noticed a new edition to the EWHAED book club (quick, look over on the right!) It's Abby Ellin's Teenage Waistland, a part-memoir, part-reference look at how parents can best help their overweight (and, here, I mean this in the most literal sense--over the "ideal" weight our society has agreed upon, as some of the adolescents Ellin describes, including, herself, are not really fat) teens. In Teenage Waistland, Ellin tackles difficult questions, such as: 1) What should you say/not say about your child's body? 2) How can you respond to your overweight teen who is bullied at school? 3) Should you send your teen to "fat camp?" 4) How about diets? 5) Is losing weight simply a matter of willpower? 6) Why don't heavy teens want to be thinner? 7) What should you do with your overweight teen who eats well and exercises but can't seem to lose any weight?
As for the answers to these questions, you'll have to read the book. And trust me, it'll be a treat--not just because it's chock full of helpful information and case studies, but because Ellin reflects on her personal experiences in a sensitive, yet light-hearted way and because she uses careful and poignant language to make her point and to convey the deep-seated relationship between emotions and our weight. There are plenty of books out there on how to help your children lose weight and/or gain acceptance of their bodies. Ellin, having personally climbed through the fat-camp and diet-fad ranks, can effectively tell us how.