Another Pro Discovers Food Addiction

Drew Manning

Sugar Addiction Awareness Day is coming up pretty soon now, on October 30,
and everything you need to know about it is spelled out at!

The title of a piece that caught our eye is, “Why a personal trainer is making himself obese… on purpose.” What? It’s such a weird, “man-bites-dog” type of story, more than 3,000 online commenters have had their say about it. Well, of course! It’s downright perverse. Just look at the “before” and “after” pictures.

Why would such a studly specimen turn himself into a human marshmallow? And the speed of the transformation is astonishing — it only took five months to go from Adonis to Homer Simpson. And, naturally, Childhood Obesity News sat up and took notice because Drew Manning frequently uses the “A” word. You know which one — addiction. As in, food addiction.

He says,

To some extent, all of these foods that I’m eating (sugary cereals, granola bars, juices, white breads, white pastas, sodas, crackers, chips, frozen dinners, mac n cheese, etc.) taste delicious. But then I feel like crap later on and I get hungry again and crave those same foods… I definitely feel ‘addicted’ to these foods. In the beginning, I did not like soda, but now I can’t go a day without, otherwise I’ll get the headaches, bad mood, etc.

By the way, for a real learning experience, do a little Web research and find out which of those foods he names contain some form of sugar. You might be very surprised. Anyway, Manning goes on to say,

I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is how intense and how real these food cravings are. I think a lot of people associate the word ‘addiction’ with drugs and alcohol, but I do believe this addiction (to America’s processed foods) is real and very similar.

Naturally, FatFighterTV‘s assigned interviewer asked Manning what it’s like being fat. He replies,

Emotionally, it’s taken a toll on my confidence level, even in my marriage. I don’t like the way I look in public; nothing fits right; bending over to tie my shoes or clip my toe nails has become so difficult.

Yes, but why? Why did he get addicted? Why did he let his blood pressure go up and his cholesterol go haywire, and his sculptured physique morph into a blimp? This purposeful journey into obesity is best explained by Manning’s own website, Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit.

He says:

This is my story of how I plan on going from being obsessed with being fit, to fat in 6 months and how I plan on showing everyone how to get back to fit again in 6 more months. My diet will be unrestricted and I will refrain from any exercise during my fat stage. I plan on putting on around 50-60 pounds. After those 6 months, I will be teaching people how to get back in shape by allowing everyone to follow my specific meal plans and workout plans on this site.

Anyone who follows along will sort of have Manning as their own personal weight-loss buddy, who also happens to be a certified personal trainer. But rather than a buff and abdominally six-packed trainer saying, “Work hard and some day you can be like me,” his message will be more like, “Here we are, a couple of fat slobs together. What are we gonna do about it?”

In other words, he will be starting out from the same place as whoever decides to follow along with the “Back 2 Fit” part of the program. The gods of classical mythology used to change into human form once in a while, just to see what it was like. Here’s a guy with a world-class body, larding it up on purpose, just so he can have empathy with and compassion for the ordinary human schlubs. No wonder some people think he’s crazy.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “Why a personal trainer is making himself obese on purpose,”, 10/13/11
Source: “My journey from FIT to FAT and how to get back to FIT again!,” Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit, 2011
Image of Drew Manning is used under Fair Use: Reporting.

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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.

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