From Publishers Weekly
Ellin, a freelance journalist and former fat-camper, wants parents of obese teens to understand a few essential points. First, there's no single answer to the obesity problem—what's right for one kid may be useless for another. Don't shame obese children by calling them fat or out of control, or by putting them on highly restricted diets while other family members munch on fried chicken. Respect "nutritionally challenged" children, and focus on the many things to love about them. Teach them about living healthy, which involves more than just knowing which foods to pick. Ellin has researched fat camps (expensive but a relief from real-world struggles), behavior modification programs (difficult to keep up), gastric bypass surgery (effective but fairly dangerous), drugs (largely ineffective) and the "size acceptance" approach (theoretically fine, but maybe they're kidding themselves). The problem with this book may be that it's a little too honest—teenage obesity is not easily solved with a Frenchwoman's recipes for diuretic leek soup. Yet the author's compassion and her willingness to share her personal life, along with the book's appendix listing helpful resources, may bring comfort to many distraught parents. (June)
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"A thoughtful, provocative and valuable account of subject that is too often beset by prejudice and hysteria." -- Paul Campos, Professor, University of Colorado and author of The Diet Myth
"Abby Ellin has written a necessary road map for parents and their children who struggle with eating issues." -- Betsy Lerner, author of Food and Loathing
"Ellin's funny, intimate and unblinkingly honest book is sure to help parents and kids wrestling with this issue." -- Alissa Quart, author of Branded: The Buying and Selling of Teenagers
"Its straight-forward perspective challenges our current views about weight loss, body image, and the manipulative societal pressures on our children." -- Emme
"Teenage Wasteland is not just about Ellin's personal experiences...It's about the emotional effects of the various solutions." -- Los Angeles Times, June 14, 2005
"Written with candor, curiosity, and compassion... [and]reflects our own grown-up and insecurities around body and beauty, health and happiness." -- Wendy Shanker, author of The Fat Girl's Guide to Life
"[Ellin] addresses the situation from a psychological, medical, cultural, and most important, understanding standpoint." -- Gotham Magazine, August, 2005
"A unique, empathetic perspective on this issue [Ellin] writes with compassion and humor about the trials of overweight kids." -- Bookpage, August 2005
"An honest, grimly funny report from a world that's lost all sense of proportion about fat." -- Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, June 6, 2005
"One part investigative journalism, one part self-help, and one part personal narrative, Waistland is intriguing...both eloquent and moving." -- The Boston Globe, September 18, 2005