“Eddie Shapes Up”, an autobiographical tale due to hit shelves September 22, 2011, aims to help overweight kids learn acceptance and create healthy habits. Co-authored with his sister Pat Koch Thaler, this book tells the story of Eddie, an overweight boy who endures teasing and bullying due to his weight. Koch has written other children’s books, but he hasn’t discussed such a personal topic before.
“I wanted to write this book with my sister — also a chubby child — to help children understand the importance of a healthy diet and exercise throughout their lives,” Koch says. “What I hope they walk away with is that it’s possible to avoid being the subject of derision or being an outcast simply by leading a healthy life with a healthy diet.” In the book, Eddie trades healthy packed lunch foods for potato chips and is chosen last for dodge ball. He expresses disgust for his body and a defeatist attitude, noting that he’ll never be thin, so why try?
Ed Koch cautions today’s kids not to follow in his footsteps. He was chubby as a child and this continued in his adult and professional life. He endured a quadruple bypass in 2009 and now enjoys favorite foods such as ice cream in limited amounts.
The number of obese children is on the rise, and many of these children face adult health issues such as diabetes and heart disease. Eating well and exercising daily are easy to establish in the early years, but as children grow, it becomes more difficult to change habits. Koch’s book aims to help children see the importance of creating these new habits that will continue on into adulthood.