My Struggle with Obesity


16-Year-Old Rocky Talks About Emotional Battle with Weight

My struggle with obesity

Samr “Rocky” Tayeh is 6 foot 1 and weighs 393 pounds. At 16 years old, he is dangerously overweight. Obesity is an epidemic in the United States, affecting toddlers, teens and adults alike.

Rocky is a Palestinian American who lives with his parents and siblings in Brooklyn, N.Y. He’s about three times the size of his twin sister and the target of many of his siblings’ jokes and insults. When they’re not ridiculing him, his family tries to entice him to lose weight by offering him incentives, such as a laptop computer or money.

Rocky says he wants to slim down, but doesn’t know how to control his eating. And he adores his family, but says his siblings have no idea how much their jokes hurt him, and how they’re actually causing him to eat more, not less. For WNYC’s Radio Rookies and All Things Considered, Rocky tells his story.

The Producer

Radio Rookies is a WNYC program that trains young people to use words and sounds to tell stories about themselves, their community and the world. Through a series of workshops, each held in a new neighborhood, Radio Rookies gives teenagers the tools to become radio journalists.

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