Ethnographic research, including individual interviews, focus groups and participant observation, was conducted to explore youth perceptions of school food, attitudes about overweight and obesity, and gendered food consumption behaviors within the broader context of competing popular
discourses about the national "obesity epidemic." Adolescents interviewed harshly criticized overweight people for a perceived lack of self-control; at the same time, youth reported feeling out of control with regard to their own food consumption behaviors at school. As a result, girls blamed
themselves for eating "junk food" at school and engaged in "guilt talk" to mitigate feelings of guilt and display personal responsibility. Girls also shared junk food items with friends to limit the amount consumed. In contrast, boys did not express feeling guilty about eating junk food and
reported trading or jacking (slang term meaning "to steal") junk food items from friends as opposed to sharing, a behavior that was associated only with girls.