Dara-Lynn Weiss, who came under fire last year for putting her seven-year-old daughter on a diet, has just released a memoir, where she says forcing her chubby daughter to lose weight was the right thing to do.
"I wanted to be honest about the difficulties [of raising a heavy child]," Weiss told People. "I wanted people to know that this is a lot harder than conventional wisdom would have us believe the solution to childhood obesity is."
Dara-Lynn, a New York City mom, helped her daughter Bea (now nine years old) shed 16 pounds by exercising and cutting back on calories. At the time, the 4-foot-4 Bea weighed 93 pounds; she's now a trim 77 lbs.
While Weiss was slammed for promoting anorexia, poor self-esteem and possibly harming her daughter's health, she insists she did it because she didn't want her daughter to grow up insecure and awkward because of her weight. In her book, "The Heavy," Weiss discusses her own experiences as an overweight child, including laxative abuse, diet pills, fasting and starvation diets.
"My fear of saying the wrong thing, doing the wrong thing, and giving her issues like the ones I struggled with kept me silent for years as she was establishing unhealthy habits and becoming overweight," says Weiss.
"Being cognizant of [my issues] was part of the reason why I brought in a nutritionist who specialized with pediatric obesity to give me a sense of how to approach this from a nutrition point of view and an emotional point of view."
Weiss, who's known as the "Diet Mom," says Bea is healthier and happier after her weight loss, and has adopted better eating habits.
"I love the fact that she still has the same love for food," says the Diet Mom. "And I love the fact that even though she still wants two cupcakes, she knows she can only have one cupcake, and I don't even have to tell her anymore."