Recently, I read an article in The New York Times about another new "parenting" book. I'm not sure I understand this latest addition to a group of what I'd call "extreme parenting" guides.

On the heels of Amy Chua's controversial book, "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom," and "Bringing up Bebe" by Pamela Druckerman, the American mother who extolled the French "method" for parenting, "The Heavy" will be written by a mother who discusses her 7-year-old daughter's weight issue and how she forced the child to diet.

Dara-Lynn Weiss' book deal stems from her controversial article in the March edition of Vogue, detailing her own parenting methods for dealing with her overweight daughter, Bea. Weiss discussed placing her daughter on a "strict" diet and punishing her for making poor food choices.

Weiss has generated a lot of buzz on TV, radio and online for her methods, which included not only restricting her daughter's food choices, but humiliating her daughter, as well as discussing her own adult issues surrounding body image and weight control.

I see far too many young children who are overweight and have ongoing issues with food choices. I also spend a great deal of time trying to help educate the parents on how they can help their child become a "healthier eater" without using the word "diet."

For a child 7-8 years old, the majority of the discussion revolves around the food that's available in the home, how the entire family eats, how much exercise the child gets, and what the child eats for lunch (whether they take their lunch or buy a school lunch). The discussion never includes words like "shame," "punishment," or "humiliation," but rather concepts like "healthy eating for growing bodies," "modeling eating habits" and "teaching children about better food choices."

While this approach may seem boring, it does work. Parents truly are the "boss" of the majority of their child's food choices for the first 8-10 years of the child's life. Why do you have to berate or punish a child in order to promote good nutrition? We're not talking about a teen who's frequenting fast food joints, or eating from the 7-Eleven counter.

Lately, it seems that unless you're writing books on parenting that anger parents or cause a huge backlash on Internet sites, no one wants to read them.

Is there no middle ground anymore? A good parent doesn't need to go to extremes. Can't we go back to the days of "everything in moderation"? The pendulum seems to have swung so far that a mother can score a major book deal while berating her young daughter, and in my mind setting her daughter up for a serious eating disorder in the future. Yes, I also take care of a fair number of anorexic and bulimic patients (mainly girls) and unfortunately, many have mothers with body image and eating disorders, as well.

So, while I do agree with Weiss that overweight and obese children must have parental involvement and the necessary diligence to change their eating habits, I don't agree with her methods. I am happy that the issue is being discussed, but there has to be a better way. Another bestseller? I hope not for my patients.

(Dr. Sue Hubbard is a nationally known pediatrician and co-host of "The Kid's Doctor" radio show. Submit questions at