Banish Doughnuts, Popularize Carrots


A challenging fact about treatment modalities is that for some patients, some things work spectacularly well, and for others, not so much. Or, to frame the issue more positively, take, for example, people who love to run. Evidence could be found that running at a certain time of day, with a certain number of recently acquired calories on board, is optimal.

But if that person is motivated to run in the middle of the night, on an empty stomach, and has a suitable environment to do it in, then why not? Even if perfect health is not the result, isn’t this method preferable to not running at all? It works for them. As a popular song once expressed the concept, “Different strokes for different folks.”

We mentioned the Elaborated Intrusion Theory which suggests that a craving is associated with an image, perhaps of luscious plump fragrant doughnuts that glisten with sweet frosting. But the mind can be outsmarted by replacing that picture with a different one. In relation to obesity prevention, this is meaningful, which is why the benevolent trick is a facet of the W8Loss2Go program.

Distraction is a legitimate technique, and visual “white noise” can distract, and furthermore it can calm a person down. Find out more about this and other details of the smartphone application that can help people of any age to achieve their goals for themselves, in “Vanquish Food Cravings with W8 Loss 2 Go.”

What happens

The troubling image of a problem food is replaced by another image that is no image — a randomly generated non-pattern of white noise. It appears that for many people, the content-free, ever-changing visual stimulation can divert the mind sufficiently to quell cravings.

Dynamic Visual Noise in History” looks at the presence of this type of optic stimulation in the past. The earliest humans, by staring at a flickering campfire, or the sunlight reflecting from the ripples in a pond, or the captivating motion of aspen leaves in the slightest breeze, could achieve a peaceful state of mind, with nary a craving in sight.

Through art or technology, various cultures have found ways to imitate these natural phenomena. Nowadays, people look at computer-generated videos of beautiful animated fractal designs, but fanciness is not the point here.

Again, history provides proof. In the old days of black-and-white television, the reception might be bad enough so that the set only showed “static,” or “snow,” which usually looked pretty much like the illustration on this page.

Sometimes a person would be found staring at this apparent nothingness, and a family member would worry about that relative’s sanity. Little did either of them know that they were in the presence of a therapeutic stress-reduction method that had been useful for millennia, and would eventually be better understood.

The Origins and Power of Food Cravings” contains some amazing information about how to convince children to eat vegetables. This post and the two previous ones work together to present a compendium of information about cravings. Another will follow.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

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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.

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