Dr. Susan's Girls-Only Weight Loss Guide

Book review by
Pam Gelman, Common Sense Media
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Authentic, helpful guide for girls and parents.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

Teens learn from other teens about real-life experiences. Guide helps parents understand ways to support girls.


A chapter dedicated to puberty and changes in the body. Discussions of girls feeling self-conscious of their bodies around boys.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Dr. Susan refers to the impact of drinking on weight gain.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this book was written as a resource for parents and as a guide for adolescent girls who struggle with weight issues. This is not about diets or quick fixes; Dr. Susan acknowledges the sudden changes to the body caused by puberty and genetic factors. She offers ways for parents to support without micromanaging, discusses how emotions play a role in what we eat, and offers alternatives for teens who don't like exercise.

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Teen, 13 years old Written byellie123 April 9, 2008


Dr. Susan's Girls-Only Weight Loss Guide is a book all adolesent girls should read. It is not a book that teaches girls about scary diets or dangerous met... Continue reading

What's the story?

Dr. Susan starts this guide with introductory words about how parents can use this book; and then in a separate section she writes \"for the girls\" about what they can expect from reading it.

\ \ Each of the 12 chapters covers a specific issue in weight gain: liking your body and taking control, puberty, genes, fashion, feelings and eating, family patterns, diets, real eating, eating out healthy, eating disorders and exercise. Within each chapter are tips from teens that are highlighted in pink, and more from Dr. Susan that are often bulleted (with pink flowers or hearts).

\ \ In her concluding chapter, the author provides her email address, asking readers to let her know how this book helped. She also provides lists of Web sites, books, and other useful stuff.

Is it any good?

The title might alarm for parents, but it's just a hook to get readers. This smart book isn't about diets -- it's about helping girls understand that their weight is about more than what they eat. Dr. Susan Bartell explains the genetics, the physiology, and the psychology that play critical roles in weight gain and loss. She writes in terms that girls will understand, and with kindness and a bit of humor.

She employs another clever tool to connect with teen readers -- other teen girls. An advisory group of 12 preteen and teen girls read, discussed, and edited her book, and then added their real-life experiences. Pink polka dot graphics; quizzes on self-control, body type, self-love and food attitude; and a multitude of tips make this a book older tweens and teens will read from cover to cover. This also is a guide for parents to better understand how their daughters feel about their weight, providing advice on how to offer support without alienating teens.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the title and cover art. Why did the author put "weight loss" in the title, instead of focusing on health? Would you have been as likely to pick it up if the girls on the front had been heavier? The book might help families talk about sensitive issues, from individual weight struggles to the family diet and how family members can be supportive of each other's bodies.

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