Fat No More: A Teenager’s Victory Over Obesity

Alberto Hidalgo-Robert, Author
Alberto Hidalgo-Robert. Arte Público/Piñata, $16.95 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-1-55885-745-2
Hardcover - 194 pages - 978-1-61192-457-2
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Hidalgo-Robert, a 20-year-old college student and antiobesity activist, writes an earnest but rambling self-help memoir about his weight struggles. The author grew up in El Salvador, the adored first grandchild in a large family, and weighed 120 pounds by age seven. Instead of realizing the gravity of the situation, his family gave him nicknames like El Gordito and allowed him to watch hours of TV and overindulge in junk food. Hidalgo-Robert’s obesity became undeniable after the family moved to San Francisco, and he suffered through diets, sneaked food, lied to others and himself, and was taunted at school. At age 13, he was categorized as prediabetic and entered the Lucile Packard Weight Program, whose methods he used to lose nearly 70 pounds. Throughout, Bert personifies “Television” and “Obesity” as adversaries and points to a lack of self-esteem (and a lack of control on his family’s part) as factors that contributed to his weight gain. Recipes and healthy lifestyle tips are included. While Bert’s enthusiasm is admirable, the book is overly chatty (exclamation points run rampant) and flooded with extraneous details. Ages 11–up. Agent: Leticia Gomez, Savvy Literary Services. (Apr.)■
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