Ghrelin, Comfort Eating, and Obesity (Part 2)

Wild Berries

Back in the hunting-and-gathering days of humankind, the only really delicious things to eat were fruits like berries, and honey. Even those were not available at all times or in all climes. Honey and berries advertise their rewards right up front and are immediately identifiable as hedonic foods. They send out a strong “Eat Me” […]

Ghrelin, Comfort Eating, and Obesity (Part 1)

Zigman Lab YinYang

The word “fasting” may call up visions of a strict religious practice or some elaborate health-oriented routine involving a carefully calibrated number of ounces of fresh juice per day. A person might think, “I don’t know anybody who does that.” Maybe not, but voluntarily abstention from food for a period of time is actually pretty […]

What About Endocrine Disruptors?


Hormones control metabolism, growth, development, the function of tissues, and a person’s mood. We have specialized organs for the production of hormones, and, just to keep things interesting, other organs can also secrete hormones as their second job. Often they gang up and work together, in which case you get something as elaborate as, for […]

Hyperpalatable Foods: Science or Science Fiction? Part 3

Heart Shaped Potato Chip

Childhood obesity, adult obesity, food addiction, processed food, chemicals, and corporations… all these things and more are inextricably entwined, and their relationship gives rise to many questions. Like, are they putting stuff in food to make it addictive, on purpose? What is the probability level of that happening? There used to be a widespread urban […]

Can Veggies Be Comfort Food?

Raw Baby Cracking Up

When we are stressed, depressed, lonely, downhearted, or suffering from any other kinds of bad feelings, we often tend to self-medicate with comfort food, in hopes that it will cheer us up. But comfort foods are so often laden with sugar, fat, carbohydrates, and special chemicals to make them taste extra yummy. Like mother’s milk, […]

The Edible Schoolyard

school kids in garden

We talked about garden-based nutrition education, also known as garden-based learning, or GBL. We made connections between the benefits that kids derive from GBL, and the ways in which children can avoid falling prey to a crippling dependency on hedonic foodstuffs. The Edible Schoolyard is based on the garden-based learning philosophy. It’s in Berkeley, California, […]

Comfort Eating and Carrie Fisher

carrie fisher

Yesterday we discussed the difficulty, for parents and health professionals concerned about childhood obesity, in having a positive effect, or making any impact at all, on the production, advertising, or availability of junk food. Call it less-than-optimal food, call it pseudo-food, or call it ingestible matter that does the body more harm than good. Especially, […]

Facets of Hunger in Childhood Obesity

Georgia Peach

Don’t you love it when somebody brings up an angle that isn’t discussed much, but maybe ought to be? That’s what Deborah Schoeberlein did, in a piece for the Huffington Post, called “Overweight Kids? Feed Them Compassion and Mindfulness.” She’s talking about the childhood obesity epidemic: Society has labeled this situation a public health disaster, […]

Comfort Eating May Be Hard-Wired

Frozen Cotton Candy

Journalist Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent for the Telegraph, has been talking with some Israeli research scientists who believe they have found an “anxiety gene” in the course of research done at the Weizmann Institute. It appears that this gene is also responsible for the phenomenon known as comfort eating. This gene controls a “stress switch” […]

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