At this moment, almost the entire homepage of the Food Addiction Institute (FAI) is occupied by information about the webinar it will sponsor — featuring Dr. Pretlow — on the evening of Sunday, January 14. The topic is “Treatment of Child/Adolescent Obesity as an Addictive Process,” and the time is 7 PM Eastern Time. Please go to this page for links and phone connections and all that good stuff.
Although the website is primarily geared for health professionals, all visitors are invited to view previous webinars or partake of several other resources, including acquaintance with the educational institution’s Mission:
Advocating widespread acceptance of food addiction as a disease of substance abuse and the availability of effective abstinence-based solutions.
The FAI is always on the lookout for promising new ways to treat food addiction, a type of substance dependency that ties the person to one or more specific foods, or that manifests as volume eating, where the addictor seems to be the act of consumption itself.
Childhood Obesity News has mentioned the Institute before, in several contexts. A post titled “The Food Addiction Institute Viewpoint” discussed the thoughts of Dr. Vera Tarman on Binge Eating Disorder (BED) and the failure of DSM-5 to include a food addiction diagnosis. As a result, Dr. Tarman predicted that many food addicts would be steered into a category that does not apply to them and “probably be given treatment that could ultimately undermine their recovery.”
Dr. Tarman and Phil Werdell, also of the FIA, co-authored the book Food Junkies: The Truth About Food Addiction, and Werdell feels that at least the inclusion of BED in the most recent Diagnostic and Statistical Manual is a step in the right direction, which could pave the way for the acceptance of food addiction as a Substance Use Disorder in the next edition.
The Institute also offers information on several self-help groups for recovering food addicts, with special attention to the 12-Step fellowships, of which Overeaters Anonymous is a venerable example. The FIA was mentioned in “Questions of Terminology” as one of the groups very interested in seeing that language is conscientiously applied throughout the mental and physical health fields.
“Peripheral Professions in Obesity Treatment” described the three-year FAI/ACORN Food Addiction Professional Training which was developed there. To have actually experienced the problem is a requirement. Recovering food addicts are clients first, and then progress to being assistants, and finally become co-professionals getting ready to launch out on their own. They can find jobs or independently set up shop as coaches or consultants, taking the load off psychiatrists and psychologists.
Your responses and feedback are welcome!
Source: “Webinar Schedule 2018,” FoodAddictionInstitute.org, 2018