The Very Hungry Caterpillar Used To Fight Childhood Obesity

Illustration for article titled emThe Very Hungry Caterpillar/em Used To Fight Childhood Obesity

I always thought The Very Hungry Caterpillar, published by Eric Carle in 1969, was about teaching colors and counting. Well, change, too — metamorphosis into a butterfly — but the two green pears! Three purple plums! Four red strawberries! It seems pretty obvious that learning colors and numbers is part of reading the book. But now, the story's "underlying message" will be used to combat childhood obesity, according to Diet Blog:

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is teaming up with the Pearson Foundation and We Give Books. The AAP will be distributing copies of the book to more than 17,000 pediatricians' offices.

The book will come packaged with growth charts and a reading guide designed to help parents use the story to talk to their young children about healthy eating.

Apparently, since the caterpillar feels great when he eats just a few fruits and leaves — and gets a stomach ache when he overeats junk (ice cream, sausage, candy) — he can teach kids healthy eating habits. Fine. But no one has addressed the fact that some parents and pediatricians are going to have to explain why, even if you eat all your spinach, you won't turn into a butterfly.

What We Learn From The Very Hungry Caterpillar [Diet Blog]

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Only slightly related, my mother told my sister and me that we would grow pixie wings if we ate all our peas. I spent so many wasted hours trying to see if my shoulder blades had finally sprouted out into wings.