Abbie used her own experience of being an overweight teenager to connect with six young men who struggle with their weight.

"This is an intimate study of how it feels to be overweight as a young man in today's world. I was a fat teenager myself and I know how it feels, and what effect it can have on your life. Alarmist headlines fail to examine the everyday reality of struggling with weight and self-image. Being overweight or obese is deemed to be self-inflicted, or even a lifestyle choice, and the 'culprit' is labelled greedy, lazy and lacking in discipline.

Statistics from the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) show that among Year 6 children (aged 10 to 11), 20.1 per cent were obese and 14.2 per cent were overweight in 2017-18. Boys were slightly more likely than girls to be obese.

The aim of this work is to show that this is a complex and nuanced subject and to tap into the wider youthful experiences of insecurity and disquiet, which so many of us, fat or not, go through with our own bodies and self-image during those formative and insecure teenage years. The idea that once you have lost weight you are cured is wrong. Obesity is the disease that keeps on giving."

Abbie Trayler-Smith, 2020

A full text is available on request.
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