Views & Reviews Medical Classics

The Diary of a Teenage Health Freak

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 17 August 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3355
  1. Richard Hurley, technical editor, BMJ
  1. rhurley{at}

    Picking spots, smoking pot, period pains, and penis angst: The Diary of a Teenage Health Freak was essential reading for a generation of adolescents when it was first published in 1987. Paying clever homage to that other seminal diarist of the 1980s, Adrian Mole, this is a titillating peek at a year in the life of Peter Payne, a typical 14 year old boy. But this diary was written by a consultant paediatrician and a general practitioner, their work the result of asking real teenagers about their worries.

    Among the humour is accurate but cringe-free health advice on topics such as puberty, …

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