Displacing the Displacement, Continued

In “Reconceptualization of eating addiction and obesity as displacement behavior and a possible treatment,” Dr. Robert Pretlow and Suzette Glasner wrote about displacement behavior that it is thought to happen when two drives oppose each other, leading to “the rechanneling of overflow brain energy to another drive (e.g., feeding drive).” This conflict generates overflow energy, and displacement activity gives it someplace to go, even if the activity is irrelevant to the case, and ultimately futile in solving anything.

Case in point: The person who wants to leave a marriage will not accomplish anything good by the displacement behavior of eating to the point of obesity. It does not make staying any better, because the partner will be even more unhappy with an obese husband or wife than they were before. It doesn’t make leaving any more viable, because an obese divorced person will find it even more difficult to find a new partner, or possibly even become gainfully employed.

Normal is good

Displacement behavior is a normal behavior or drive that occurs out of context and fulfills the common understanding that the conflicting drives are rechanneled to some activity that is “most readily available at the time or is most commonly used in the animal’s repertoire.” Displacement activity provides a temporary fix at best. The person might feel a little better for a short time, but it is certainly not a cure for anything.

If the rechanneled behavior becomes destructive, it is possible for the individual to consciously rechannel the overflow mental energy to a nondestructive behavior. Examples are rechanneling to breathing behavior (by taking slow, deep breaths), rechanneling to squeezing the hands, and rechanneling to hobbies.

This opens up a huge area of possibility. Rechanneling a displacement activity into another displacement activity instead is not an ultimate cure but can be extremely helpful, and certainly preferable to the destructive, false relief afforded by consuming a bag of chips. Displacing the displacement can offer some breathing space, and if not a cessation of the problem, at least a stasis point, a way of dealing with the overflow mental energy that does not cause more destruction but offers a stalemate, a pause in the hostilities.

Doubt and reassurance

A person addicted to eating might scoff, “How is a hobby going to help?” But latching onto an absorbing interest or activity, while it may not actively constitute betterment, at least does not lead to worsening. Stasis may not in itself improve the basic problem, but is a place to put that overflow mental energy while improvement can be achieved by other means.

This is where the BrainWeighve suggestions for distraction are useful. They may only create temporary relief, but that is better than no relief at all. More importantly, temporary relief creates space for more substantial and permanent relief solutions to be implemented.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “Reconceptualization of eating addiction and obesity as displacement behavior and a possible treatment,” Springer.com, 06/22/22
Image by Daniel Lobo/CC BY 2.0

Displacing the Displacement

“I need a drink” is probably one of the most frequently heard statements in the language, and the reason why a person feels the “need” for a drink is to eradicate stress.

Of course, many other substances can offer the illusion of serving the same purpose. With heavy downers, the person can zone out or pass out, and avoid experiencing stress — or any other sensation — for many hours at a time. With uppers or stimulants, like amphetamines, the person can create so much busyness and so many superficial distractions, that the original causes of stress are buried under a ton of pointless activity.

Maintaining a habit is, in itself, quite stressful. Where to get the stuff, how to pay for it, hiding the habit from others, quieting their suspicions, concealing the physical deterioration that inevitably follows, pretending to try to quit when a true intention is totally absent — all these activities and situations are very stressful too. For someone to discover that substance use actually exacerbates the very problems they hoped to escape can be a crushing disappointment that unavoidably leads to an even worse place.

Going nowhere

Not surprisingly, eventually it all catches up, and a heavy price is demanded. When the supposedly stress-alleviating addiction takes hold, there are consequences — like academic failure, job loss, divorce, bankruptcy, physical deterioration, endangerment of others, arrest, criminal charges, public shame, alienation of friends and family members, and so forth — all of which serve to just pile on the pressure and the suffering. And that is the inescapable “catch-22” of it all. Addiction inevitably causes even more problems and more stress.

Obesity gets involved because eating is one of the most obvious and available displacement behaviors. Eating, sleeping, and grooming are all natural drives, and useful and beneficial activities, until they are not. Picking bugs out of the hair is fine; pulling out the hair itself is taking things too far. A normal amount of sleep is necessary for health; sleeping 12 hours a day to escape a challenging life situation is obviously counterproductive.

Consuming enough calories to keep the body operating at peak functionality is obviously desirable; but when it’s a displacement behavior, and no longer a reasonable response to a natural, healthy drive, then eating is a problem.

Personal situations

For young people, school is one of the most frequent and obvious sources of stress. For older people, the big problem is often the job, or the lack of a job, and either one can make a person feel desperate and push them to look for something, anything, that will alleviate the misery.

And then, there are personal relationships. Often in a marriage, one partner realizes that the status quo is untenable. But like an animal faced with the choice between “fight or flight,” the person realizes that neither leaving nor staying can promote their well-being. If they leave, they will be broke and lose their kids. If they stay, they will be wretched.

(To be continued…)

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Image by x1klima/CC BY-ND 2.0

Feed the Enthusiasm, Part 2

Many people experience “food noise.” For others, it isn’t even that conscious, but just a primitive instinct that commands, “See that thing over there? Lunge at it. Take it down. Eat it.” Sometimes the food noise voice sounds more like a motivational speaker: “Within the next half hour, you can and will consume an entire package of cookies.”

Is this from a psychological, symbolic of a feeling of emptiness? Sure, why not? That’s a mental condition, caused by the brain grasping at straws to do something other than confront the insoluble problems of life. There is a colorful old expression: “I didn’t know whether to ____ or go blind.” A person often feels like that when they don’t know whether to fight, flee, freeze, feed, fornicate, fool around, fidget, or faint.

A paper written by Robert Pretlow, M.D., and Suzette Glasner, Ph.D., says,

Theoretically, the displacement mechanism functions by rechanneling overflow mental energy to another behavior… If the rechanneled behavior becomes destructive, it is possible for the individual to consciously rechannel the overflow mental energy to a nondestructive behavior.

“Food noise” — is it overflow mental energy wanting to be displaced by eating? Sure, for some people, some of the time.

For many of us when experiencing a problem, “Eat it into submission” is the answer. We are the lucky ones, because food consumption has much greater societal acceptance than “Beat it into submission.” Fortunately, most of the time, the people who experience violent impulses do not obey them. Those of us who respond to stress by merely putting on pounds are relatively lucky. Our morbidly obese bodies may be cumbersome to lug around, but we probably will not go to jail — not for that, anyway.

Now, to reward ourselves for not being as bad as cold-blooded killers — let’s go have lunch!

Say whut?

When it comes to holding absurd beliefs and making up rationalizations for our own less-than-admirable behavior, the human brain is endlessly inventive. As the great Lewis Carroll wrote, “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” Massive, life-altering revelations can be remarkably formative, depending on a person’s willingness to honor certain conventions. Short-term distractions can help, too, as an intermediate step toward mastering our tendency to consume.

Small steps and little actions can work wonders. The BrainWeighve smartphone app has an area called the Distractions Jar, which offers suggestions for temporary relief. The manual says,

The difference between distractions and rechanneling activities is that distractions may not use up overflow mental energy. For example, watching TV is a distraction but does not use up overflow mental energy and won’t help you with an urge to eat. Doing something that engages your mind, like drawing a picture or shooting hoops, will use up overflow mental energy.

The many short-term relief suggestions include taking deep breaths, squeezing fists, walking or jogging, playing with a pet, fiddling with a fidget toy, listening to calming music or white noise, digging in a garden, carving wood, manipulating clay, stretching, and calling a friend. Other participants who use the BrainWeighve app also add ideas for short-term habit avoidance, and of course you too can offer helpful suggestions to others.

People are a lot like the Rat Park experimental subjects. As it turns out, if rodents have some agreeable activity on hand, other than consuming drugs, they quite often will do that other thing instead.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “Reconceptualization of Eating Addiction and Obesity as Displacement Behavior and a Possible Treatment,” Springer.com 06/22/22
Image by U.S. Army DEVCOM/CC BY 2.0

Feed the Enthusiasm, Part 1

One of the greatest feelings in the world is to become absorbed in some activity for a few minutes, and then realize you’ve been so wrapped up in it, and an hour or more has passed. That forgetfulness of the world and the self is, at minimum, a painless interval, and at most, a rewarding spell in which you’ve actually achieved or learned something. Finding a passion can save a life.

“Smile, when your heart is breaking…”

For some people in show business, the constant access to free drinks and easily available hard drugs is their downfall. But for others, practicing their art can be the thing that makes all the difference to their mental health. Like fly fishing, mechanical dexterity, or learning to play the drums, performance art is a way to satisfy a certain drive.

That drive might be described as the need to escape from an untenable circumstance. Even an amoeba knows to avoid pain. To entertain a room is certainly an improvement over fighting, running away, or other available displacements. Telling jokes to strangers can even help a person maintain their sobriety for decades.

Standup comedians Joe List and Greg Fitzsimmons agree that making a commitment to get up on stage, and then following through, can pull them out of a depressive funk. Stage time is somehow the “fix,” even if neither the comic nor the audience happens to be at the top of their game. Using an evocative and appropriate metaphor, Fitzsimmons says, “Even if you bombed, at least you got the needle into your arm.”

Positive displacement

Musician/comedian Gary Mule Deer was simultaneously addicted to cocaine and gambling for about 20 years. He told interviewer Marc Maron, “When I came out of rehab, I needed a new addiction, and needed to walk off the weight I’d put on… Golf saved my life.” While pursuing that fresh interest and challenging skill, Mule Deer met one of his heroes, the singer Smokey Robinson, who invited him to raise money for charity by participating in celebrity golf tournaments. Consequently, Mule Deer met many other people he held in great esteem, from several fields of endeavor. These friendships helped him to further his career as an entertainer, and granted him a new lease on life.

Full of surprises

Fortunately, a person who is trying to shake a habit may work on the underlying problems through whatever means are available — individual therapy; 12-step programs; spiritual practice; conscientious action plans; vision boards — people are different and they can be helped by different things. But one thing that helps anybody is finding higher-quality, productive, creative, attractive, meaningful displacements that give them a chance to use their skills and competencies, and that bring out the best in them.

(To be continued…)

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “Fitzdog Radio #994,” YouTube.com, 02/15/22
Source: “Episode 1458 Gary Mule Deer,” WTFPod.com, 08/03/23
Image by Chic Bee/CC BY 2.0

Nurture the Enthusiasm, Part 2

In “Reconceptualization of eating addiction and obesity as displacement behavior and a possible treatment,” Dr. Pretlow wrote,

Displacement behavior is a bio-behavioral mechanism that allows an animal to deal with situations that cannot readily be faced nor avoided, or that are thwarting. It may explain compulsive overeating (eating addiction).

[A]bstinence is not a feasible or appropriate treatment goal. Accordingly, understanding and targeting the behavioral and psychological precursors to compulsive eating behaviors is essential as a means of facilitating control over food intake to mitigate obesity.

When the BrainWeighve smartphone app was being developed, 14- to 18-year-olds tested it out. Among other things, they learned to identify life situations they couldn’t avoid but also couldn’t face, and went on to develop action plans to address each situation. Dr. Pretlow reported that participants “found the displacement component to be understandable and user-friendly.”

Most of the young people who tried out the app used the “Dread List” feature, and collectively came up with 90 dread situations that were fueling their displacement-based overeating. Guided by the app, they developed action plans to cope with their “dread situation” problems.

The conclusion was that “The displacement mechanism may be a useful basis for treatment of eating addiction and obesity and may provide individuals with hope that they can curb their addiction without relying on willpower to not overeat.”

This next quotation is from Dr. Pretlow’s “The displacement mechanism: a new explanation and treatment for obesity“:

In addition to dealing with the sources of the displacement, it also is possible to replace the displacement with another displacement that is less destructive.

And as long as there is any amount of destructive-type energy hanging around, the second meaning of displacement is to get something else to put in place of whatever it is we’re unproductively doing now. Twelve-step programs encourage service as an activity.

So, do a good deed for somebody, or do a good deed for yourself — play the drums, fix the alternator, or go fly-fishing. Just do something, persist with it, and get different voices going inside your head other than that tedious, everlasting “food noise” or nicotine noise, or booze noise, or whatever your particular weakness is.

This is just the beginning. A non-harmful displacement behavior is so much more than that. Sometimes, it’s the thing you always wanted to do and never had the courage to undertake. It could be a thing you never heard of before, and would not have encountered if you hadn’t mistakenly followed the false path first. Any person who has found a non-harmful displacement behavior to keep them sober, or to prevent them from ever falling into addiction in the first place, is a winner.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “Reconceptualization of eating addiction and obesity as displacement behavior and a possible treatment,” DOI.org, 06/22/22
Source: “The displacement mechanism: a new explanation and treatment for obesity,” Weigh2Rock.com, 07/31/20

Nurture the Enthusiasm

This is worth saying again. As parents, the really useful thing to want for our children is…

[…] for them to find activities they can master and excel at and profit from and gain satisfaction from, to the point where they won’t be tempted to use substances to gain a momentary illusion that their challenges have magically been met. Our best hope is that they will achieve actual goals and satisfactions that will remove them from the all-encompassing grasp of their problems.

Another post discussed “replacing the displacement,” or rechanneling overflow mental energy to other, non-harmful behaviors. What could these non-harmful displacement behaviors be? Anything from a slight experimental curiosity to a hobby to a passion. It looks like in general it’s a good idea for parents to let a child follow an enthusiasm, no matter how silly or useless it might seem.

Maybe it turns out, they don’t like the experiment and want to end it. Here is where a lot of parents take a wrong turn. They think they know everything about the child, and make disparaging remarks and dire predictions. “You’ll be bored with it. You’ll break your neck. You only think you want to do that because your friends are doing it. Doing that won’t get you into college.”

Wrong turn

When a kid drops a new activity they were so determined to try, just a few weeks ago, parents are understandably frustrated. The easy response is to cop an attitude, and scold or ridicule the kid for being so fickle. But what actually happened there? The young person has learned from experience the very lesson the parent tried to warn them about… and now, the parent is going to shame that young person?

Please, adult caregivers, resist the temptation. Everybody is entitled to try something and decide it’s not for them. To give a kid a hard time for changing her or his mind is one of the most counter-productive things a parent can do. Especially if your kid quits doing something you didn’t want them to do in the first place — just hush up and take the win. And when a new enthusiasm appears on the horizon, don’t hinder the process. This might be the thing that saves your kid’s life.

It works

A very successful celebrity entertainer and podcaster talks frequently about the things he has brought into his life to take the place of drinking and smoking. One of them is a drum kit, and another is a classic pickup truck, and their purpose is to displace alcohol and tobacco. They are alternative activities, things to do instead. Practicing intricate rhythms and taking an engine apart are also things a person might like to do instead of eating.

And we’re not just talking about run-of-the-mill “hobbies” here. This is why BrainWeighve encourages trying out new things, which can also include granting a second chance to things we might have tried before. The idea is to find something you can really sink your teeth into instead of pizza. A person whose passion is eating needs a new thing to be equally passionate about.

Sure, we need to work on resolving the miserable feelings that start the whole process, generating negative vibes. That is one level of displacement, the automatic reaction that animals have when they peck at grass or whatever, to dissipate the energy that might otherwise metastasize into fight, flight, etc. Just about anybody could benefit from some type of therapy or counseling, in order to keep things from getting to that point. Because with that kind of help, we don’t have such a need to blow off energy by doing whatever our bad habit is.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Image by TORLEY

Strike a Spark

A recent post mentioned the importance of making specific plans. This is about a fundamental idea that carries into counseling practice, and that went into the making of the Brainweighve app:

You will learn to rechannel the overflow brain energy to non-harmful displacement behaviors.

Yes, but why, again? To what end? For starters, to drown out the “food noise.” It goes back to the concept of displacement. The goal is to move one thing out of the current behavior pattern, remove it and put something else in its former location. You want to grab “food noise” by the scruff of the neck and kick it out, and make sure there is no room for it anymore. It has lost its seat on this flight, another passenger is sitting there instead.

In “The Displacement Mechanism as a Basis for Eating Disorders,” Dr. Pretlow wrote:

Theoretically, the displacement mechanism functions by rechanneling overflow mental energy to another behavior, typically whatever behavior is most readily available at the time or is most commonly used in the animal’s repertoire…

As previously mentioned, as a type of animal, humans resemble other species in a major way. Food consumption is for us, like them, a “most readily available” behavior. When we feel life closing in on us, that mental energy revs up and we tend to grab the handiest displacement mechanism which, for a lot of people a lot of the time, is eating.

At this juncture, it is appropriate to ask oneself, “What are my most readily available, typical, commonly used behaviors?” And if it turns out they all are related to eating, then it’s time to get some new customary behaviors.

Here’s a quote from “The displacement mechanism: a new explanation and treatment for obesity“:

In addition to dealing with the sources of the displacement, it also is possible to replace the displacement with another displacement that is less destructive.

Take a look at the “Rechannelling” section of the BrainWeighve manual. This is where the planning comes in. Could the instructions be any more clear?

Go back to the homescreen and tap on Rechanneling. Eating urges and cravings may be briefly relieved by Rechanneling the food displacement energy to a non-food displacement activity. Type non-food activities that you will use to rechannel the displacement of eating, such as taking deep breaths.

When you deal with your dreaded situations and triggers or rechannel your overflow brain energy to a non-food displacement, this should decrease your urges to snack… The app has additional displacement strategies to help you stop snacking that you may select.

BrainWeighve can help tame that rogue energy and transform it into something useful. The app is a tool whose use can turn random sparks from static into signal.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Image by Bill Ohl/CC BY-ND 2.0

Everybody’s Got ‘Em

What are they? Frustrating life situations that can be neither avoided nor faced. We don’t know how to handle the stress of an upcoming exam, or the boss’s attitude. Or the conflict with our partner over how to discipline the kids. Or the worry about whether to break the budget and replace the threadbare tires, or take a risky chance by waiting a few more months. Or any one of a thousand things that we feel helpless to solve, but unable to stop thinking about.

This stalemate or standoff causes nervous energy to build up in the brain, and the clever brain comes up with a mechanism to shove all this rackety energy aside. It needs someplace to go, so it spills over and gets displaced into a kind of mental dumpster. Our relationship with food is a widely available dumpster, because everybody eats, and much of what is presented to us as allegedly being edible is actually trash. So it’s an ideal match, in a perverse sort of way.

Decisions, decisions…

Should I eat that last waffle, or save it for breakfast? Is it okay to have my “cheat day” early, at my friend’s birthday party? Aren’t the prices at the health food store just ridiculous? Maybe I should put some time into researching how to make vegetables really taste good. Of course I know that throwing up is a terrible way to control the calories, but what if I just did it once in a while? Is there really such a thing as a negative-calorie food?

And on and on and on, with the phenomenon known as “food noise,” the annoying and omnipresent background chatter that plagues most people who are trying to lose weight. This is where the Brainweighve app comes in handy. From the user manual:

The app helps you identify the situations in your life that you cannot face or are frustrated with, and then it helps you create Action Plans to deal with each one. This stops the overflow brain energy production. Also, you will learn to rechannel the overflow brain energy to non-harmful displacement behaviors…

Getting rid of “food noise” is a big step toward getting rid of food abuse, also known as overeating. The worst kind of food noise is the eating urge, and the clue to its deceptiveness is right there in the word, which implies urgency, which tricks a person into feeling like it’s a life-or-death situation, an existential crisis, a mortal threat. “Stuff something into your pie-hole this very minute, or it could be all over for you!”

The worst kind of food noise is the stern directive that says “EAT NOW.” So, what can this smartphone app do about that?

For in-the-moment, immediate stressful situations with eating urges, you should tap the Rescue button. The Rescue area asks you what is bothering you the most in your life, at that moment, and then helps you come up with an Action Plan.

Displacement is a couple of different things, starting with the brain’s trick of taking nervous energy and transforming it into a mechanism for rationalizing and justifying our most harmful habits — “I’ll feel better if I just eat something.” In a different but related sense, displacement is the method of co-opting that false illusion of rescue and turning it into an actionable plan.

The actual helpful suggestion might be, “I’ll feel better if I spend this rogue energy on doing something I love.” Or even, “I’ll feel better if I do something to address the problem whose avoidance generated this random, rogue energy in the first place.”

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “https://brainweighve.com/brainweighveusermanual_06252023.pdf,” BrainWeighve.com, undated
Image by blairwang/CC BY 2.0

Shushing the Food Noise, Part 2

As we saw in the previous post, to stop intrusive thoughts there are other ways than drugs, including making mental adjustments. For example, some people give great credit to Transcendental Meditation, saying it “quiets the racket.” Or someone might seriously study the deleterious effects of everyday media and advertising, and gain enough momentum from that to shut down negative self-talk and the insistent promptings to seek food.

Dr. Pretlow and eHealth International have another solution, called BrainWeighve, and the most efficient way to learn about it is to take a look at the app’s User Manual. Meanwhile, here are some highlights:

The app helps you identify the situations in your life that you cannot face or are frustrated with, and then it helps you create Action Plans to deal with each one.

The treacherous thing about those unfaceable life situations is the avoidance mechanism that a person unconsciously sets up. “Nervous energy builds up in your brain to either deal with or avoid the situation…” and one thing that nervous energy does is talk a lot of trash. It warms up its ghostly vocal cords and starts producing what some call “food noise,” the distracting chatter about when, how, and what you will be eating next.

The constant bla-bla-bla is like the legendary water torture, where a person’s head is confined and then subjected to continuous attack by single drops of water. It doesn’t sound like much, but please don’t volunteer to try it, because it can cause hallucinations, misery, and maybe even insanity.

No happy ending

A water torture victim will eventually betray friends and family, king and country, and spill all the secrets, just to make that unrelenting assault cease. It’s no wonder that someone trying to shed weight finds it hard to resist the self-generated “food noise.” Such a person will do anything to make the food noise stop, even scarf down an entire pizza.

With the help of Action Plans tailored to different life situations, a person can put a stop to aggravation. “Also, you will learn to rechannel the overflow brain energy to non-harmful displacement behaviors…”

To start things off, the BrainWeighve app asks the user to fill in certain baseline information, and then provide more subjective answers that are relevant to one’s own personal circumstances. Even if you have trouble pinpointing exactly what bugs you, the app can suggest specific situations, some of which you might not have even realized were problems. Then, BrainWeighve guides you to make specific plans.

(To be continued…)

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “BrainWeighve User Manual,” BrainWeighve.com, undated
Image by emiliokuffer/CC BY-SA 2.0

Shushing the Food Noise

There has been plenty of discussion about how adept the new weight-loss drugs are at silencing “food noise.” Patients report, for instance, that they simply no longer feel like mindlessly snacking, and can step back and question themselves about whether the hunger is legitimate. They mention a diminishment in cravings for unhealthful foods, and even for alcohol.

But according to many authorities, there are other ways to make that intrusive voice shut up, no medication needed. Maggie O’Neill names some major fixes: dietary modifications, stress reduction, medication therapy, and behavioral modifications.

Even food itself can help, if the choices are wise. With daily or weekly injections, GLP-1 is the stuff that makes the stomach seem full and makes a person “feel fed.” It turns out that some substances raise the GLP-1 level naturally — namely protein, fat, and fiber. The advice here is twofold: Start a meal with protein and vegetables. But even before that, don’t let yourself get too hungry, because that serves no useful purpose at all.

Endocrinologist Dr. Rekha Kumar is quoted in a Healthline.com article by Cathy Cassata:

Getting adequate sleep will keep appetite-regulating hormones stable and reduce the risk of food noise. Regular exercise, which raises natural endorphins and adrenaline can also help increase fullness.

Nutrition and weight loss coach Christina Brown also recommends alternatives for medication, according to Cassata:

She suggested working with a therapist to determine the reason why you are constantly thinking of food or using food for emotional purposes. “Many of us have an unhealthy relationship with food, which often causes the food noise. We need to heal that relationship in order to truly get rid of the food noise,” she said. “Taking a weight loss drug may help to mute the food noise, but it will not completely silence it.”

Put a sock in it

Psychologist Vivienne Lewis of the University of Canberra also discusses other ways to shush the “internal food monologue,” a problem common not only to people with anorexia nervosa or binge eating disorder. “If we are dieting, undereating, restricting our intake of food or overeating, we can be consumed by thoughts about food.”

The combination of psychological therapy plus guidance from an accredited dietitian can get the job done. The therapist helps the patient get to the root of what drives the food obsession, while the dietitian advises on how to establish regular and adequate eating patterns “so your body and brain are well-fuelled and you can make sensible decisions around the food you consume.”

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “What Is ‘Food Noise’? How Drugs Like Ozempic and Wegovy Quiet Obsessive Thoughts About Food,” Health.com, 07/03/23
Source: “Drugs Like Ozempic and Wegovy Cut Cravings and Turn Down ‘Food Noise’,” Healthline.com, 06/28/23
Source: “Some Ozempic users say it silences ‘food noise’. But there are drug-free ways to stop thinking about food so much,” TheConversation.com, 06/29/23
Image by ben-the-geek/CC BY 2.0

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Profiles: Kids Struggling with Weight

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The Book

OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say explores the obesity problem from the often-overlooked perspective of children struggling with being overweight.

About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

Food & Health Resources