‘Nothing tastes as Good’ – a review. Plus, Its Eating Disorder Awareness Week.

We in YouthSpin have previously let you know about Young Adult books that we think tackle important issues.  As this week is Eating Disorder Awareness Week for 2017 we thought we’d double up and let you know about Irish YA book ‘Nothing Tastes As Good’ by Claire Hennessy.

We also share some facts and figures we found on the website of the excellent Bodywhys organisation. This is an important and complex issue, and this blog posts barely scratches the surface of the issue, and is intended as a pointer towards more specialised information sources.



‘Nothing tastes As Good’ is an Irish novel by an Irish author. You might recognise the title as the first half of a famous quote by Kate Moss. The full is quote is that, “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.”

The narrator in Claire Hennessy’s book is Annabel. Annabel is dead. She has been given an ‘afterlife’ task of being a sort of Guardian Angel for Julie, who Annabel kind of knows from school. However, Annabel died from Anorexia, and she sees her job as having to make a fat girl thin.

Throughout the book we explore the world of eating disorders in different forms. It is intense, funny, sad, and engaging. Its not a lecture. It is a story told so well. You will probably feel quite angry in parts, and find your inner reading voice shouting at one or other of the different characters. It may upset you, it will make you laugh too though. The author does not talk down to her readers and most of all you will feel challenged.

I’m underselling the book. Its not ‘just’ about Eating Disorders. There is a lot more in there to engage the reader. Its definitely one of the best Young Adult books to be published in Ireland (and beyond) in 2016.

We recommend this book for young people and for adults alike.


For Eating Disorder Awareness Week we put together some statistics from the BodyWhys website into one page for you to download or share.

We’ve also posted some of the posters from BodyWhys and Seechange for 2017.

  • Up to 200,000 people in Ireland may be affected by eating disorders.
  • An estimated 400 new cases emerge each year, representing 80 deaths annually.
  • Almost 14% of all admissions for under 18s to Irish psychiatric units and hospitals had a primary diagnosis of eating disorders.
  • Females accounted for 93% of all admissions of those affected by eating disorders.
  • 77% of Irish adolescents ranked body image as being important to them.
  • 57% of the young people surveyed expressed some level of satisfaction with their body image, which means 43% were dissatisfied.


Negative body image is considerably more prevalent among girls than boys.

When asked about what influences their body image, comparison with others ranks as the most negative influence on girls’ body image and bullying as the most negative influence on boys’ body image.

71.4% of Irish adolescents feel adversely affected by media portrayal of body weight and shape, with more than a quarter (25.6%) believing it to be far too thin. McNicholas et al. (2009)

Self-image was identified as the number one factor that ‘hurts’ the mental health of Irish teens. Teenage Mental Health: What Helps and What Hurts. Department of Children and Youth Affairs (2009

According to a 2007 study of Irish children and adolescents, 1.2% of Irish girls may be at risk of developing anorexia nervosa, with 2% at risk of developing bulimia nervosa. Source: McNicholas, F. (2007) Eating Problems in Children and Adolescents.


Download Our EADW statistics Poster

The Bodywhys Website address is http://www.bodywhys.ie

Please visit for more information about eating disorders, what they are, their causes, and importantly for ways to access support.

The Seechange website address is http://www.seechange.ie

Seechange aim to reduce stigma and change attitudes towards people with mental health problems.


Going to college 2017

DECISIONS! DECISIONS! –  Making important career decisions and  deciding which course is best for you, can be difficult. It is important to make sure you are well informed and avail of whatever support is available.


How Do I choose A Course?

Research— It is essential to thoroughly research all your course options and not be too restrictive.  A variety of supports and resource materials are available.

  • Talk to a Guidance Counsellor and get access to careers information and advice, college prospecti and applications literature etc.
  • Visit college websites, read their prospectus for details of the courses, including entry requirementsyes-no

    and course content. Ask yourself does the course suit your particular interest, abilities and career objectives?

  • Where possible attend open days.
  • Check out educational websites.
  • For courses you are interested in, you should also check if fees are payable. Not all courses are covered by the Free Fees Initiative.
  • If at this point you are still unsure of your exact career or course choices don’t worry, you can always submit an application, then if necessary use the CAO change of mind  facility to change your course choices (with some restrictions ) & order of preference up to the 1st July 2017.
  • Consider alternatives – maybe full time college is not for you. Are there other ways to the career you want

Useful Websites

www.cao.ie – The Central Applications Office processes applications for undergraduate courses in Irish Higher Education Institutes.

www.qualifax.ieinformation includes the title, code, content of each course available.

www.careersportal.iehave a new tool to assist students researching CAO courses.  The CAO Course Finder  courses using any combination of filters including; Career Interests, Career Sectors, Regions, Colleges, CAO points, availability of QQI Progression routes, no maths required etc.


College Finance

Money matters are an important factor in the whole application process.  Most undergraduate students don’t have to pay tuition fees (Free Fees Initiative) BUT there is a Student Contribution (the maximum rate for 2016/17 is €3,000).


Check out www.studentfinance.ie for more information on finance options available including the Student Grant, Fund for Students with Disabilities, Student Assistant Fund, Back to Education Allowance etc.

You can find out more about the Student Grant and make an application at www.susi.ie. Applications for 2017 open on April 3rd. Note; last year the closing date for what they called ‘priority’ applications was in early July.  The earlier thebetter for SUSI applications to ensure you are paid in time. However late applications are allowed, possibly up to the end of October. This will of course mean long delays in getting your applications processed.

www.citizensinformation.ie has additional information on fees and supports for third -level education.


Studying in Europe

Our colleagues in Crosscare have a great post on Studying in Europe which gives tips and useful websites so that you can find out more about more of the options available to you!


Our Going To College 2017 Guide

You can download our Rough Guide to applying for College 2017 HERE or by clicking on the photo below