‘Tis the Season


‘Tis the season of what? Maybe regretful groans. Or it could be day after day of opportunities to practice new skills.

So you walk into the bank and there’s coffee and cookies. Gift baskets arrive packed with sugar bombs. You attend food-centric holiday events held by family members, workplaces, schools, and churches. Maybe you even throw a party. Recent Childhood Obesity News posts regarding FOMO, or fear of missing out, are spectacularly relevant at this time of year.

If you’re a grownup, you know what it’s like to either resist the urge to pig out, or give in to it, or to spend life constantly on the fence, never knowing which way you will fall. Next time you are confronted with food or drink not even you know how you will react. Now imagine that, only ten times worse, and you now have empathy with how most kids feel. They don’t know what’s going on — they’re kids!

A holiday gift

Escape from FOMO” offered some ways to escape the holiday overconsumption trap, and today, here are ideas from health coach Marissa. First, eat before going to the event. To a lot of people, this seems counter-intuitive, because we are used to getting ready for a party like a professional fighter cutting weight before a match.

But, instead of a violent encounter, we will be facing a table full of food, and it’s free. It only makes sense to fast, in preparation to appreciate all the goodies. Don’t do it! Marissa tells why and how:

The best way to counteract the tendency to overeat is to eat reasonably throughout the day and have a well-balanced meal or snack of fiber, fat and protein before you arrive… With your blood sugar balanced, you’ll be better able to make rational choices and prevent overeating.

What if there is no chance to eat beforehand? The mantra is “fiber, fat, protein.”

Fill your plate with proteins like chicken, shrimp cocktail, sliders without the bun, vegetable crudite, nuts, fresh salads and good quality cheeses.

Marissa also advises giving yourself a timeout. The object is to find a quiet corner and take ten deep breaths. (Even if a person is already seated at a table, it might be possible to do the ten deep breaths without causing comment.) Her third suggestion is such a jewel, please just read the whole article.

She gives quite a few strategies for surviving in environments loaded with temptation. Allow yourself a treat now and then. But be picky:

If you know Suzy has THE BEST spiked hot chocolate at her holiday party, then make that your thing. The tray of sad, picked over deli pastries that end up in the office kitchen after the management meeting? Yea, go ahead and skip those…

Of course it’s a good thing for any adult to master these holiday-wrangling skills, but the benefit is not just to ourselves. We need to be good role models for children and teenagers; not domineering, but ready with a helpful hint if called upon.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “Food FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and How to Handle It,” WhereINeedToBe.com, 11/30/16
Images by (top to bottom): @Julie_McGann1, @Ewans_Dad, @CassiusMorris

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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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