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The consequences of living in prison for male prisoners’ weight and body image in two British prisons

1 Jun 2016, 12.00PM–1.00PM
3T1 Boardroom, R G Bomont Building, Stirling Campus + Video-conferenced with Highland Campus, Inverness, and Western Isles Campus, Stornoway
Dr Matthew Maycock
The consequences of living in prison for male prisoners’ weight and body image in two British prisons

Matthew is currently working as an Investigator Scientist within the Settings and Organisations Team on a Chief Scientist Office funded project.  This project is looking at the feasibility of adapting the Football Fans in Training (FFIT) weight management and healthy living programme for delivery within secure institutions, both to inmates and staff. This focuses on understanding prison contexts and performances of gender within them.

Matthew completed his PhD from the School of International Development, University of East Anglia in 2013. Matthew’s thesis focuses on masculinities in post-conflict Nepal, specifically considering the experiences of a group of recently freed bonded labourers. This complements a long held interest in research on masculinity and youth with a strong focus on South Asia and especially Nepal.

Throughout various university studies, Matthew has consistently worked on gender issues with masculinity and young men being a particular focus. Matthew complemented his research on conflict and masculinity in South Asia by working for ten years on gender specific health promotion campaigns and resources (explicitly focusing on men and boys) in England and Wales for the public health charity The Men’s Health Forum. He has also undertaken various pieces of work and consultancy for various development NGOs in order to ensure the specific needs and concerns of men and boys are included within gender sensitive work and research.

Dr Matthew Maycock from the University of Glasgow will be presenting on his work relating to the Football Fans in Training (FFIT) and its adaptation to fit into a Scottish prison context.

Whilst inequalities in health and lifestyles persist, prisoners as a group often experience particularly poor socioeconomic circumstances and lifestyles prior to conviction. Supporting them in accessing appropriate care and making positive changes to their health presents particular challenges. 

In this paper we report data from participants in a pilot physical activity, weight management and healthy living programme (Fit for Life) delivered in two British prisons housing adult male prisoners. We focus on how they described their weight and changes to their weight while living in prison, and their experiences of trying to lose (or increase) their weight through participation in the programme.

Participants described a diversity of perspectives on weight, but all wanted to change their weight in some respect. Some focused on losing weight, while others wanted to put weight on (to achieve bigger, stronger bodies). Through a focus on how the quantification of weight was an important focus for some participants, we provide a prism through which to reflect on how weight influences male body image within prison.

This is a PhD/ClinDoc Health Sciences Seminar which is open to all.  Please RSVP to reserve a space, thank you.

RSVP: Please RSVP to Andrea Mohan email:

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