Program

Oral

Agency and the childhood origins of feedism.

[Speaker] Charles, Kathy E:1
[Co-author] Palkowski, Michael:1
1:Edinburgh Napier University (United Kingdom)

Feedism (or feederism / erotic weight gain) is often presented by journalists and researchers as a paraphilia with elements of sadomasochism (a feeder who controls and feeds, and a feedee who eats and gains weight until disabled). There has been particular focus on the female feedee as a victim who lacks agency and knowledge in her relationship and food choices. Thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews with 11 females and 12 males identifying themselves as participants of feedism revealed a fascination and attraction to weight gain beginning in childhood. This childhood interest underpinned well-developed agency in adulthood in both males and females. Analysis also revealed fluidity in the terms 'feeder' and 'feedee' with the conventional understanding of the feeder as dominant being challenged. The need for greater awareness of the dynamics involved in feedism, and the subsequent implications for how health professionals encourage weight loss in these patients, is discussed.
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