A Mother…a Daughter…and a Diet

February 14, 2013

Where do you stand on this issue?

The Facts:

  • Her daughter was labelled obese at 7 years old.
  • Her weight was 42 kilograms or 93 pounds.
  • She had gained 30 pounds in one year.
  • The young girl was just over 2 metres tall (3 feet 4 inches) .
  • Her paediatrician advised her parents to act.

The details:

  • Her mother, Dara-Lynn Weiss, put her daughter, Bea, a on a long and strict diet.
  • It was a great battle of wills. The mother wrote an article about her daughter's diet in Vogue Magazine. The reaction of the public was scathing!! She revealed in this article how conflicted and confused she was in trying to change the habits of an 'obese' child. She talks about healthy eating, 'fat shame' and the need to be transparent and public about the journey.
  • Dara-Lynn followed this article with a book about the experience called "The Heavy". This memoir has been reviled by most and has garnered a lot of attention.


I am totally conflicted about the subject of children and dieting. I think the problem is around the word 'diet' which I do not think should ever be used in the same breath as a child.

What children need and parents want is healthy, nutritious and balanced eating for their children.

There is no doubt that Dara-Lynne loved Bea, but as much as the 'diet' and the strict nature of it, I question the public nature of this struggle. Was the mother trying to educate others or justify her behaviour?

What are your thoughts?