A Stupid Diet Book

- Before getting to the body of this post, I want to preface it with the note that everything contained in this post is my personal observation or opinion.  I'm not a doctor, a nurse, or anything remotely related to someone qualified to give medical advice.  Obviously this post should not be intended as medical advice or any kind of recommendation and you should see your health professional before embarking on a new weight-loss or fitness plan - you know the drill.  Finally, I did not read this book, this post is merely the opinions I formed about the book based on the information provided on the dust jacket and a brief internet search - as people tend to do. - 

So a couple days ago, Shawn and I went for a walk and popped into the bookstore just to look around.
The story should end there.
But as I started down the aisles, I noticed a and a front-faced display of a robin's-egg-blue book caught my line of sight.  It was The Petite Advantage Diet.  In my head, right there, I was like "Please tell me this is not what I think it is."
Oh, but it was.  Right there on the front cover it says in the gold star-blurb: "The Specialized Plan for Women 5'4" and Under."

source/amazon

Let me just say...no.  I'm in the book store, holding this book, my mouth hanging open because surely - surely - there has to be something I've missed.  People aren't that stupid, right?  I mean, I've worked in a book store, I read magazines, I have the internet - I've seen some pretty convoluted specialized diet plans.  But this takes the cake.  I tell myself there must be something more to this whole ridiculous idea.  Because who in their right mind would publish this book otherwise?

So I read the inside of the front flap.  And no, no, my first impression was exactly on the money. Seriously, go to the amazon page for this book (see link above) and click on the look inside/front flap part.  It's insane.
It's possibly the dumbest thing I've ever read.  And that's really saying something.
For those who don't want to use the link, it says basically that short girls have to eat less because they're smaller.  Our bodies are smaller and therefore we don't need as many calories.
Gee, really?
You mean someone who is on the smallish side probably doesn't need as many calories as someone who is tall and built?

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Also, the front flap goes on to say that being short is actually a good thing, because you have a higher muscle-to-height ratio (okay. . .) and also a lower center of gravity - these two things mean you can work out more efficiently and have less likelihood of injuring yourself when doing so.

Okay, how many things can we say are wrong with this?
I know lots of women who are 5'4" and under.  Some are size 26.  Some are size 2.  Some have small, thin bones and limbs.  Some are built like tanks.  Some are soft and round, some are built like a ruler. As a woman, (BTW, this inane book was written by a man, in case anyone cares) - I find the generalizations made about shorter women insulting.

And what the hell?  I'm not super-smart scientist girl, but having a lower center of gravity sounds more like something that would be discussed in a "body shape/type" book, as opposed to one focusing on body height.  Seriously.  When I stand up straight on a good day, I'm 5'2".  I am very much an "apple" shape and an unfortunately generous portion of that is centered in my bra.  I have no notion of how anyone could assume I have a lower center of gravity than a taller person just because of my height.  Because I guarantee you, that's not the case.

So, I put this book down and ranted to Shawn about it, told him I am going to blog about this stupidity.  So I check online to find out what the basic guidelines are for this so-called "advantage diet."  And I came across this page that gives a very quick summary of some of the plan's key points.
I read this entire page and all I can think is: seriously?
Seriously?
That's the big "magic plan" for short girls?  Eat smart, get plenty of rest, avoid junk food, be sure to tone those muscles. . . .  Isn't that what -- you know -- everyone should be doing, regardless of their height/gender/shape/blood type/whatever?
Isn't that what just about every single other diet book ever (except for the seriously crazy ones, of course,) advise? Sure most books/plans vary on specifics, but basically a quick study in the diet and health section will tell you that most of the books have the same basic ideas and advice.

I'm not saying that losing weight is easy or simple or anything like that - if it was, we wouldn't have so many different diet books to choose from. Everyone is different and there are plenty of books and plans out there that have lots of good ideas to help people figure out what works best for their life and their body, and sometimes it's not the information that's new, but how it's perceived by the consumer.

What I am saying is that this guy (from what I have read) has little if anything new to add to the mix. It's the same old stuff shaken up and put into a pretty blue book with the tagline that if you're 5'4" or under, (as most women in America are) this book has the answers, because it's all about your height, you just never knew it!
The whole thing is just bollocks.




7 comments :

  1. COMPLETE BS. how can a book like this be published?

    your height does NOT determine how much you should/should not eat. you can quickly calculate how many calories your body needs (according to your age, height, weight and current exercise level) and from there, you can figure out how many calories you need to cut for weight loss, or, add for weight gain.

    i know that i need between 1800-1900 calories per day for weight loss. to maintain my current weight, i would just add 500 calories to my range. to gain weight, i would add 800 cals to my range. it's so simple (from a calculation perspective) that has nothing to do with height.

    i really hate it when people publish bullsh!t information on health and nutrition just to make money; i feel that it's taking advantage of those who are looking to seek more information/support/help with weight loss/getting healthy >:(

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    1. sorry, i should edit that your height alone doesn't determine how much you should eat. it is a factor but there are other things that need to be accounted for, especially current exercise level.

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    2. Exactly! (To both comments.) There is so much misinformation out there, we don't need more out-and-out douchebaggery added to the mix.

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  2. Really, short people should eat less? Yeah, NO...I'm 5'1" and I'mma eat what I want! (snaps fingers)

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  3. EXACTLY! Ugh. My favorite part to hate was when the front flap says shorter girls are "more delicate." Screw that noise. Delicate my ass.

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  4. You crack me up! I found this inspiring reason being- If something that lame made it to a bookstore shelf then I might actually have a chance of getting published.

    I'm 5'4 (also trained in nutrition) and I am most definitely not delicate.

    Amen to what Kathy said!


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    Replies
    1. LOL Most women I know are like "WTF? I am NOT delicate!" :)

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