Varieties of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

[plastic toy man sitting on chair in front of computer]

In the short term, many obesity interventions achieve an encouraging degree of success, but a year or five years later, a follow-up shows a different picture. As Childhood Obesity News has described, cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT is designed to promote behavioral change by breaking negative cycles of behavior and restructuring harmful patterns. To fulfill the […]

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Family-Based or Not?

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In the areas of weight management and eating disorders in kids and teens, several different components are involved. Negative behavior cycles need to be broken, and patterns need to be restructured. Some behaviors need to be eliminated, and others put in their place. Equally important is the long-term maintenance of both elements — the permanent […]

Behavioral Economics and School Lunches

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When a human is unhappy with the way things are going, three courses of action are possible: change other people (usually frustratingly futile), change oneself (difficult to varying degrees), or change the environment. Sometimes modifying the environment can be astonishingly effective, as a science called behavioral economics has shown when applied to school lunches. School districts across […]

Obesity and Various Therapies

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Attention modification training (AMT) has been employed with children before, to treat anxiety and a number of other mental health issues. One of its most important uses is the treatment of substance abuse problems. Since food is a widely abused substance, AMT offers hope in the effort to end childhood obesity. Perhaps the most startling thing about […]

More Advice from the Formerly Fat

[several layers of donuts with quote, 'Food is the most abused anti-anxiety drug in America, and exercise is the most potent yet underutilized antidepressant ' --Bill Philips]

Dr. Pretlow has always emphasized the importance of identifying problem foods, and there is a very good reason for that recommendation. Many formerly obese patients, when faced with the seemingly overwhelming task of cutting down on food, have found an incredible advantage in narrowing the range by pinpointing the worst food villains. To work on […]

7 Ways to Not Be Fat

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Happy July 4th! There’s no better way to say “Thanks!” to America than by doing a little something to end our obesity epidemic, starting with our own families. Here’s a collection of suggestions. Reduce salt intake An Australian study of 4,000 children found that the more salt they ate, the more sugary drinks they consumed. Cut down […]

School Food Rules — Sensible or ‘Draconian’?

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In 2012, the journal Pediatrics published the results of a study of the effect of “competitive foods” in schools. Those are snacks and drinks available from vending machines and snack bars, which compete with the meals provided by the school’s food service department. For the New York Times, Sabrina Tavernise described how researchers compared the progress of […]

PATHS, Pathways and Peer Pressure

[little boy playing in back yard]

Childhood Obesity News has been looking at the school-based intervention program Pathways to Health, which grew out of the risk-behavior reduction program known as PATHS. Pathways to Health is all about sharpening and strengthening Executive Cognitive Function (ECF). The object is to avoid and prevent obesity by learning impulse control, emotional regulation, and other related coping […]

PATHS and Pathways to Health

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The school-based program called Pathways to Health, which is concerned with obesity prevention, developed out of an earlier program called PATHS that was designed to prevent violence and substance abuse. While they may appear to be very different problems, at the most elemental level violence, substance abuse, and obesity all qualify as risk behavior, and […]

Child Obesity — Does Negative Motivation Work?


Britain’s National Obesity Observatory, in a paper on obesity and mental health, recommends focusing on psychological factors rather than on weight loss per se. Especially for the obese child, social support is the primary concern. As we have seen from the life stories of former obese children, an increase of social support at an early age […]

Childhood Obesity News | OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say | Dr. Robert A. Pretlow
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