Danowski, Debbie. Why Can’t My Child Stop Eating? A Guide to Helping Your Child Overcome Emotional Overeating. Central Recovery. 2013. 133p. ISBN 9781937612276. pap. $14.95. CHILD REARING Obesity in younger children has tripled since 1980, yet only 20 to 40 percent of cases are believed to have genetic causes. Dr. Danowski, who suffered from obesity as a young person, here shows parents how to help children break unhealthy connections among emotions, eating, and food. She outlines how children today are under greater stress than ever before (e.g., “high academic expectations, overbooked schedules, more rigorous beauty standards, rising divorce rates, and increased crime against children”). Since they also absorb society’s view of eating being a reward many of today’s children are turning to food for comfort—a trend Danowski posits could have lifelong consequences. Children who associate birthday cake and holiday cooking with mom’s attention are at risk of confusing parental love with food. VERDICT Danowski’s style is basic and gentle. She examines the media culture behind food marketing, the power of parental example, ways to change thinking and eating patterns, and what not to do when helping children learn new approaches to food. There are no nuggets here on dieting or calorie counting, and many will balk at her clinical attitude (she never tasted her own wedding cake). Families who need a new understanding of their relationship with food will find Danowski’s advice supportive.
–Julianne Smith, August 2013