Dr. Pretlow was one of the professionals interviewed on camera by Sabrina Register, of television station KCTS in Seattle, on the subject of childhood obesity. The show mentions his W8Loss2Go smartphone app, and visits his very popular Weigh2Rock website, and even quotes three of the young people who have told their stories there.
Dr. Pretlow enumerates some of the elements of the low Quality of Life quotient experienced by the one-third of America’s youth who are overweight or obese. These kids come up against one or more negative feelings, including poor self-esteem, shame, depression, and guilt. Often, they are subject to teasing and bullying.
The segment emphasized these challenges by giving the problem a name and a face, featuring high school junior Tana Denmark. We see her waterskiing in a t-shirt and pants, rather than the bathing suit most teens would wear. Ms. Denmark was a participant in the most recent study of the effects of Dr. Pretlow’s W8Loss2Go app, and lost a significant amount of weight.
At the end of the segment the two hosts discuss Dr. Pretlow’s approach of treating overweight/obesity as an addiction, with which they note not all doctors agree.
The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer said of truth:
All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
In both geographic and temporal terms, this process is uneven. For instance, many people have come to accept that food addiction is a reality. They may be uncertain about the details, like whether it’s a substance addiction or a behavioral addiction, but the basic idea is accepted and established. Of course, other groups vociferously uphold their own received wisdom about what has caused the obesity epidemic, and some think food addiction is the silliest thing they have ever heard of. (Schopenhauer didn’t mention another option, which is to simply ignore a proposed truth.)
The process of producing a TV show involves a great deal of editing, a lot of picking and choosing, to satisfy time constraints and other factors. Quite often, excellent material is, to use the quaint old phrase, left on the cutting room floor, which may explain why some of Dr. Pretlow’s appearances in various media have not included everything he had to offer. But the longer version of this KCTS documentary, which has aired several times, included one of the hosts mentioning that Dr. Pretlow believes obesity might be caused by food addiction and that this premise underlies his W8Loss2Go program studies.
Also, the final product did include one of his examples of what not to do, illustrating a parenting style for which “enabling” is too weak a word. This was the story of a 13-year-old boy, weighing 280 pounds, who conscientiously packed his own school lunches with portion control in mind. But his mom continued to slip candy “treats” into the bag. To the mother, Dr. Pretlow gently proposed ceasing this behavior, but apparently it was not possible to stop because booby-trapping school lunches with calorie bombs was “her thing.”
Your responses and feedback are welcome!
Source: “Obesity’s Emotional Toll,” KCTS9.org, 02/12/15
Image by KCTS TV