Teenage Waistland: A Former Fat Kid Weighs in on Living Large, Losing Weight, and how Parents Can (and Can't) Help

Front Cover
Public Affairs, 2005 - Family & Relationships - 257 pages
8 Reviews
We've been inundated lately with books and articles about childhood obesity. Most offer cultural critique or nutrition and exercise advice — in tones that are alternately appalled and patronizing. Few address the psychological, medical, cultural and developmental complexities affecting overweight kids. The truth is, many parents already know that Whoppers are fattening. What they don't know is how to effectively help an often discouraged, often reluctant kid on what will be a difficult, life-long journey.

Abby Ellin, a journalist and former fat-camper whose parents' attempts to "save her" from fatness proved counterproductive, has had a lifelong interest in figuring out how they might have done it better, and an abiding compassion for overweight kids. In Teenage Waistland she shares the story of her own adolescent struggle with food and weight, and journeys with hope, skepticism, and humor through the landscape of today's diet culture. She visits camps and community programs, and talks to experts, kids and their parents, seeking to answer these questions: What can parents say that kids will hear? Why don't kids exercise more and eat less when they're dying to be thinner? What treatment methods actually work? Willpower, or surrender? Shame, or inspiration?

Teenage Waistland is ultimately clarifying and provocative for anyone who's ever wrestled with weight issues. One size does not fit all when it comes to weight loss, and the better we understand that, the more likely we are to be able to help our kids.

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Review: Teenage Waistland: A Former Fat Kid Weighs In on Living Large, Losing Weight, and How Parents Can (and Can't) Help

User Review  - Andrew Walen - Goodreads

Writer has little clue how triggering her book is and violently anti-fat, the very thing she seems to find as the trigger for her own eating disorder. Egocentric and over-written just like other NY Times author Frank Bruni and his loathsome book "Born Round". Read full review

Review: Teenage Waistland: A Former Fat Kid Weighs In on Living Large, Losing Weight, and How Parents Can (and Can't) Help

User Review  - Ami - Goodreads

Abby Ellin asks what can be done for overweight teenagers. The answer sadly, is not very much. Too much pressure and pushing can result in eating disorders and out of whack metabolisms. Doing nothing ... Read full review

About the author (2005)

For five years, Abby Ellin wrote the "Preludes" column, about young people and money, in the Sunday Money and Business section of the New York Times. She also regularly writes the "Vows" column in the New York Times Sunday Styles section, as well as feature assignments for the New York Times Magazine. Her work has appeared in a range of publications, including Time, the Village Voice, Marie Claire, More, Self, Glamour, the Boston Phoenix, and Spy (RIP). She's an editor-at-large for Gotham magazine and has an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. But her greatest claim to fame is naming "Karamel Sutra" ice cream for Ben and Jerry's.

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