Schooled on Fat: What Teens Tell Us About Gender, Body Image, and Obesity

Nicole Taylor

Schooled on Fat explores how teens navigated the fraught realities of body image within a high school culture that reinforced widespread beliefs about body size as a matter of personal responsibility while offering limited opportunity to exercise and an abundance of fattening junk foods. Drawing on daily observations, interviews, and focus groups, Schooled on Fat takes the reader into the lives of teens to show how they managed their body size, social status, and identities as body-conscious individuals.  Author Nicole Taylor reveals how teens developed shared understandings of fat and positioned themselves as relatively thin through linguistic practices such as teasing, gossip, and verbal dueling. Taylor traces policy efforts to illustrate where the United States is as a nation in addressing childhood obesity, and she offers practical strategies schools and parents can use to promote teen wellness.


The Creative Expressions by high school students featured on this website offer artistic interpretations supplementary to Schooled on Fat to provide rich, three-dimensional and personal representations of how teens experience body image.

The Stories from the Field section offers a humanizing glimpse into the unpredictable process of ethnographic research to provoke thought and discussion about how researchers both shape and are shaped by the communities with which they engage.

The Resources section provides links to additional information on topics addressed in Schooled on Fat, including body image and self esteem, media literacy, gender literacy, wellness strategies, and bullying prevention.

Purchase Schooled on Fat: What Teens Tell Us About Gender, Body Image, and Obesity on the
Routledge website.

Schooled on Fat
 webpages designed by Sarah Abbott.