Dara-Lynn Weiss Puts 7 Year-Old Daughter On Abrasive Diet

16 months.

This week there has been a lot of negative buzz going on about a writer for Vogue magazine who reacted to her 7 year-old daughter’s obesity by placing her on an unforgiving, calorie-counting diet. (At 4 feet, 4 inches tall, her daughter weighed 93 pounds, placing her in the 99th percentile for her age; about 30 pounds overweight.)

I’m not even going to try to be neutral on this subject and end this article with, “What you do think, readers? Did this mom do the right thing?”

Because it’s this simple: The way this mom handled her daughter on a diet was illegitimate and a horrible example for her daughter. I’m not questioning her moral character, but her technique; because I believe it needs to be questioned:

“I once reproachfully deprived Bea of her dinner after learning that her observation of French Heritage Day at school involved nearly 800 calories of Brie, filet mignon, baguette, and chocolate. I stopped letting her enjoy Pizza Fridays when she admitted to adding a corn salad as a side dish one week.”

And I know, in American’s modern day parenting culture, it’s taboo to criticize another person’s parenting style; especially a woman’s, especially coming from a man’s perspective, especially in regards to dieting.

But I don’t care. Here’s my beef:

Weiss would restrict her daughter from enjoying birthday cakes at parties. She would not allow her to eat dinner if she had already consumed her daily amount of calories for the day. And then when he daughter finally lost the weight, she was rewarded her with new dresses.

Yikes. Not cool, Zeus.

I am extremely against counting calories in the name of losing weight. It sends the message that it’s okay to eat lunch from a fast food drive-thru as long as you make up for it by only eating celery sticks for dinner. That’s not a healthy approach.

It places the emphasis on “not being fat” as opposed to actually caring about being healthy. It focuses on superficial image instead of quality of life.

So what’s the magical alternative?

Nix soda and drinks with sugar added. Instead, drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Replace all white bread and pasta with wheat.

Reduce meat intake to 4 ounces per day.

For snacks, cut up actual pieces of fruit.

Make a point to include fresh vegetables in every dinner.

Whenever you’re hungry, eat; granted that it’s included the items listed above.

Enjoy dessert; just not everyday.

Go for a 25 minute walk everyday.

This is how I lost and have kept off my 25 pounds. This is how I helped my supervisor recently lose 33 pounds, so far. It’s a lifestyle change; not a diet, at all.

Most importantly, as a parent, we set the example for our kids. They learn from us, more than anyone else when it comes to nutrition and an active lifestyle.

Okay, so is anyone as fiery mad as I am about this?

Or instead, is there anyone out there willing to stand up for Weiss’s approach?

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  1. by Emm

    On March 31, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    I agree with you. This woman puts the focus on the superficial, ‘one must be thin to look good in clothes’, mantra.

    I think its horrible to deprive ANY child of a meal. I mean, if she was concerned about what her daughter ate for lunch, why couldn’t she feed her child a large salad for dinner? Even that is wacky to me.

    As long as your kid isn’t sneaking junk food, let your child change shape as they grow up. I did. I grew out before I would grow taller.

    I love fashion and studied it in college but the starving to be thin plague within it makes me very angry.

  2. by Ferne

    On April 1, 2012 at 7:50 am

    Her approach was wrong, in my opinion. I do see why she felt the need to intervene though. She’s a parent, and that’s our job.

    I will say though, as someone who suffered from an eating disorder in my teenage years, Bea is being set up to have a dangerous relationship with food. This mother’s approach mirrors that of a very famous BRAVOlebrity, Bethenny Frankel. Her book, “Skinny Girl,” preaches a similar train of thought; “Taste everything. Eat Nothing.” While you can tell this process works when you look at Bethenny, in terms of keeping you thin, she does not look healthy. Her skin and hair lack luster, and I’m pretty sure her hair is getting thinner and thinner each time I watch her show. Her caloric intake does not even seem as though it could fuel her hours of yoga practice each week, yet this book is a best seller. Kudos to Bethenny for having a best selling book. I am not slamming her appearance. I am just noting that you can be skinny, but it doesn’t mean you are healthy. I do not wish to take a page from it though in regards to food relationships.

    I’m guessing Ms. Weiss has the same irrational understanding of food, and her daughter will most likely share it in her adult years. Ms. Weiss works in the world of high fashion. They are highlighted in Vogue, after all, so in this world, do we expect anything less? I do not.