February 21, 2013

Book Review: The Teen Eating Manifesto: The Ten Essential Steps to Losing Weight, Looking Great and Getting Healthy

This is one in a series of book review blogs. You may find these books beneficial if you: manage prediabetes or diabetes, follow a diabetes meal plan and/or try to eat healthy to live well or, in the case of this book, are or have an overweight teen. These book reviews also appear on amazon.com and the books can be found in my amazon a-store. Please check out these books and consider a purchase.

With childhood and adolescent obesity regularly in the headlines and attracting much angst in the public health community, it’s the right time to see a book geared towards healthy eating and healthy weight loss for teens. Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, Lisa Stollman, MA, RD, CDE, CDN, has written The Teen Eating Manifesto: The Ten Essential Steps to Losing Weight, Looking Great and Getting Healthy, to help guide the group of individuals tagged by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the only generation to date expected to have a shorter lifespan than that of their parents.

The Teen Eating Manifesto is a guidebook which is divided into three distinct segments.

The book begins with an introduction that focuses on helping the teen assess their readiness to change. Then, beginning with chapter one Stollman gives us the first glimpse of her teen-friendly writing style and voice. She does not force change, but rather offers up the facts about why making changes to, yes, lose weight, look great and get healthy, is beneficial even to teens. She proceeds to divide her key points into ten easy-to-achieve, yet essential steps.

Recognizing the importance of a well-rounded healthy lifestyle, The Teen Eating Manifesto dedicates an entire chapter to the ‘why’ behind the importance of exercise. Within Stollman’s nutrition steps, she also encourages teens to foster healthy relationships. This includes the advice, which Stollman backs up with scientific studies, to eat meals with their families.

The Teen Eating Manifesto prompts teens to engage in trial and error approaches as they learn to get in tune with their bodies and take on new habits. Stollman’s teen-friendly writing engages readers by guiding them through situational exercises. She introduces the concept of mindful eating and provides strategies to curtail and limit emotional eating. Stollman encourages teens to lose the dieting mentality along with a few pounds.

The book plays to this generation’s desire for instant gratification with actions readers can take to quickly put healthy habits into action. With her lists of quick actions, she covers everything from exercise to eating. Stollman also uses tables successfully to make information easy to glean at a glance. The tables which compare food and beverage choices are particularly approachable. Technology loving teens (aren’t they all?) will enjoy the chapter on the variety of Apps they can use as they learn to implement healthy habits.

Stollman, a dietitian with many years of expertise under her belt (and years raising children), clearly understands the teen mindset and her book gives them tools they will use. The final sections of The Teen Eating Manifesto encourage teens to adopt healthy habits that will last them for a life time including learning to cook and menu planning skills.

This easy and usable book is packed with science which lays the groundwork to help teens increase their nutrition knowledge. Stollman then does a masterful translating the science into practical tips and tactics teens can apply. The Teen Eating Manifesto is surely one that’s worth giving to the teens in your life.