Dara-Lynn Weiss has written an article describing the extremes she went to in order to help her 7-year-old daughter lose weight. Now Weiss is facing much criticism for her methods, which she says, "no one seems to approve of."
Weiss chronicled her attempts to help 7-year-old Bea lose weight and improve her health after being told she was clinically obese and at risk for diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol problems. The article appears in the latest issue of Vogue magazine and has struck a nerve with readers like Veela, who have stated that Weiss is "obsessive over weight issues" and "has problems of her own."
"Sometimes Bea's after-school snack was a slice of pizza or a gyro from the snack vendor. Other days I forced her to choose a low-fat vegetable soup or a single hard-boiled egg. Occasionally I'd give in to her pleas for a square of coffee cake, mainly because I wanted to eat half of it," Weiss wrote.
"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, a baguette and chocolate. I stopped letting her enjoy Pizza Fridays when she admitted to adding a corn salad as a side dish one week."
"I dressed down a Starbucks barista when he professed ignorance of the nutrition content of the kids' hot chocolate whose calories are listed as '120-210' on the menu board. When he couldn't provide an answer, I dramatically grabbed the drink out of my daughter's hands, poured it into the garbage, and stormed out."
Now that Weiss' story has become public, people all across the country are weighing in on her actions.
"If she wanted her daughter to lose weight, why didn't she work harder to change her eating habits instead of taking them away completely? She should have made these changes and still enforced that her daughter was beautiful and showed her love," suggested Yahoo user Melissa.
"The mother obviously has food issues herself: she denies her daughter a cupcake then 'secretly eats two' herself?" questioned Judith S.
Bea eventually lost 16 pounds and moved into the healthy BMI range, but Weiss notes that she was still unhappy.
"'That's still me,' Bea says of her former self. 'I'm not a different person just because I lost 16 pounds.' I protest that indeed she is different. At this moment, that fat girl is just a thing of the past. A tear rolls down her beautiful cheek … 'Just because it's in the past,' she says, 'doesn't mean it didn't happen.'"
Feminist website Jezebel has called the article the "worst Vogue article ever," and readers have noted that the word "exercise" is missing from the article.
"I read this whole thing and didn't see the word exercise once. I think there's a key element missing here," noted ahpooks.
There is talk that Weiss' actions could lead to her daughter having an eating disorder later in life.
"I fear for little Bea. I predict she will regain the weight and become sickly and weak to boot," wrote user yahilda.