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29th Sep 2021

Outrage after study suggests you’re “at risk of diabetes” if you can’t fit into jeans you wore at 21

Sarah McKenna Barry

“Things like this are so harmful and directly contribute to the culture of disordered eating we live in.”

People are sharing their disbelief and frustration following the release of a study which suggests that we are “at risk of diabetes” if we can no longer fit into the jeans we wore when we were 21.

The data was presented by Newcastle University’s Roy Taylor, a diabetes expert, at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes’ annual conference.

Professor Taylor said that if patients discover that they can no longer fit into the trousers they once wore, then they are likely to be “carrying too much fat”, and as a result, their risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases.

He also shared data from an early study which suggested that eight in 12 patients with type 2 diabetes could “achieve remission” by losing 10-15% of their body weight.

Over on social media, several Twitter users, particularly those who have experienced eating disorders, reacted to the study. Many pointed out how they are healthier now than they were at 21, regardless of their size.

Author Natasha Devon tweeted: “I had a severe eating disorder at 21… I was constantly dehydrated, anaemic & I had a hole in the roof of my mouth. If I could still fit into the jeans I wore then id [sic] probably be dead. It’s *almost’ like you can’t apply blanket rules to everyone’s health isn’t it”

CEO Emily Ramshaw wrote: “At 21, I lived in a sorority house where I drank three glasses of water before dinner so I would feel too full to eat actual calories. I am overjoyed to never fit into those jeans again.”

Journalist Haley Britzky tweeted: “Things like this are so harmful and directly contribute to the culture of disordered eating we live in. I don’t know who needs to hear this but it’s incredibly okay (normal!) not to fit into the jeans you wore at 21.”

On a lighter note, many joked that the advice wouldn’t apply to them, given the denim choices they made at 21.

“I wore bootcut jeans at 21,” one Twitter user wrote. “It’s less that I couldn’t fit into them, it’s that I wouldn’t dare.”

Another tweeted: “the author of this nonsense article clearly underestimates what jeans I was wearing at the age of 21.”

If you have been affected by any of the details in this story you can contact Bodywhys on 01-2107906 or email