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Freddy Fights Fat

Freddy gets up in the morning, gets ready for school, pulls on his pants, and realizes they are snug. On the school bus Freddy almost squishes another boy off the seat! In gym class he huffs and puffs around the track and almost throws up at the finish line.

Freddy finally has to face the facts... he is getting fat.

This colorful, 54 page hardcover book is one of the few titles out there dealing with childhood obesity. It will be helpful for overweight kids to relate to Freddy as he adjusts his eating habits, enlists the help of his parents and gets some advice from a caring doctor.

It can be tough to talk to kids about being overweight, but this book can help. Freddy Fights Fat author Dr. Lawrence E. Shapiro says, "Being overweight presents children with significant health risks and mental health risks as well. Freddy Fights Fat was written to help children and adults open a discussion about this difficult and rapidly escalating issue."

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of children and adolescents who are defined as overweight has more than doubled since the early 1970s.

Data from the 1999-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey shows that 16% or 9 million+ U.S. children ages 6-19 are overweight.

The numbers will continue to increase according to the "Fitness Facts" published in the Center for Disease Control 2004 Annual Health Protection Impact Report, which states:

  • Nearly half of Americans 12-21 say they are not regularly and vigorously physically active.
  • About 14% of young people report no recent physical activity.
  • Participation in all types of physical activity declines as age or grade in school increases.
  • Only 19% of all high school students are physically active for 20 minutes or more, 5 days a week in physical education classes.
Addressing the problem of obesity in the book, Freddy gets help from his physical education teacher, his parents, and his pediatrician, who guide him toward developing better eating habits and daily exercise.

Although Freddy is tempted by his favorite fattening foods, and he has a few lapses, gentle encouragement and positive reinforcement from others helps him to lose some weight and he gets healthier physically and emotionally.

The graphics are great and a child can read this either alone or with a parent. It is written for children ages 4-8. A checklist of what Freddy learned and resources for parents wrap up this well-written book.

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