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Thresholds of size: An interpretative phenomenological analysis of childhood messages around food, body, health and weight.This study explores the lived experiences of non-dieting, middle-aged Western women classified as ‘overweight’ or ‘obese’ on BMI charts. Qualitative research that has focused on non-weight loss experiences with this population has been rare. This study aims to allow their experiences to be heard within the mainstream health literature. Four women from aged 40-55 were interviewed about their early messages and experiences around food, body, health and weight. An interpretative phenomenological analysis was conducted. Three themes were identified: 1) family culture and body norms 2) thresholds of size and 3) action and outcome. Participants identified a range of influences upon their early body appraisal, with parents, extended family, peers and community members contributing to their understanding of what constituted as an acceptable size. The impact upon their sense of identity and emotional wellbeing is discussed. This study contributes to the role of the modelling and messages around size and value given by important others and the psychological ramifications these can have over time.