Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Guest Post - Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food - (PG)



For our first guest post, I'm pleased to welcome Surgeon J. Brown. Her review of BERENSTAIN BEARS AND TOO MUCH JUNK FOOD reminds us that there are other things we need to watch out for in kid's books besides sex, violence, and language. Although Dr. Brown appreciates books that teach healthy eating habits, she points out how well-meaning adults (or authors) can inadvertently cause food issues, which can lead to complexes, low self-esteem, and eating disorders. Thank you, Dr. Brown, for sending in your review! We still need many more guest bloggers. There are a lot of books out there and only one (now two) of us. Email your reviews to storysurgeongeneral (at) gmail (dot) com!

Surgeon J. Brown's Review:

Well, let me just start out by saying that I wish I could give this book 0 stars, and then burn it. I do not even know where to begin... I am just so very, VERY disappointed. 

The Berenstain Bears books have been more or less popular for a few decades. This fact is part of what troubles me so much. I've read some of the other Berenstain books recently to my children, and they've been ok, but when I found this little gem (sarcasm), I was stunned.

When I was in nutrition school, and even more so since then, I have come to realize how many food issues people have, and how many of those issues are surrounded by feelings of guilt. That guilt almost inevitably leads to compulsion, and from there the cycle continues.

I understand that Stan Berenstain was attempting to help children to make better food choices, but he did it in all the wrong ways. 

Example #1
This is what inspires Mama to put the kids on a diet.

So, basically Mama bear wants her kids to stop eating junk food because they're getting "chubbier", not because she cares about their health. 

Example #2

 Papa's snack habits had caught up with him so he splits his pants?

Again, with the body shaming! Am I advocating unhealthy eating? Of course not. The problem I have here is with the idea that skinny = healthy. Health comes in all different sizes and shapes. This book should have focused more on how if we treat our bodies with care, they will be able to do amazing things. We will be able to run faster, live longer, and feel great! Not just look good in our clothes, or fail to "split the seat of our overalls wide open". 

If you'd like to learn more about the damage of body shaming, you should check out Beauty Redefined.

Too Much Junk Food gets a (PG) rating for content.  

Four stars. 

(The Star Ratings on this site are based solely on the amount of mature material. The less objectionable the content is, the higher the rating.)

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