The Bumper Book's advice

The Bumper Book, published in 1954 by Platt & Munk Co., Inc. is a book of stories and verses that I still have from my childhood. It must have been a classic because my wife had a copy too from her childhood. Among the edifying stories in The Bumper Book was one called "The Little Boy-who-was-too-thin." You can get the jist of this story from a few quotes: "Once upon a time there was a boy named John who was very, very thin....This did not trouble Little-Boy-Who-Was-Too-Thin, because he did not care to run races with the other children or throw a ball fast and high.... He was troubled, though, because all the boys and girls in his class made fun of him." "One day the School Nurse came to his schoolroom and every child had the fun of being weighed....'Oh, I am so sorry, John!' Nurse answered. 'You are ten pounds underweight." "'Dear me,' thought Little-Boy-Who-Was-Too-Thin, as he went out doors when school was over, eating a piece of candy. 'Where shall I find ten pounds of fat to put on my bones to make School Nurse happy?' He asked the advice of his friends Cuddly Cat, Bunny Rabbit, Pudgy Pig, Dumpy Duck and lastly, Dimply Dot, a nice little girl who lived next door. "So he drank milk and cocoa, and ate bread and butter, and corn meal mush, and cereal, and fruit and vegetables, and he played in the sunshine." "One day School Nurse came again and every child in the class had the fun of being weighed. One of the children was a boy named John with plump legs and arms and a suit which fitted him." "Yes, John was no longer Little-Boy-Who-Was-Too-Thin. He was as plump as Cuddly Cat and could jump as well as Bunny Rabbit. He was as round as Pudgy Pig, and could walk as far as Dumpy Duck, and run farther than Dimply Dot." I occasionally get parents who complain that their child is too thin but much more often these days they worry that their children are too fat. The Bumper Book's health advice isn?t any more wrong than modern advice for how to lose weight. That is to say that your weight and shape are genetically predestined and have little to do with diet in the real world - like height. You can't change how tall your child will be. Someday soon we will look back and see how quaint we were in 2001.