Only Connect!

Connection is a current topic of interest. For, Emily Buchanan wrote that “E. M. Forster was uncannily aware of our future dependence on technology.” This is based on, among other things, the crucial line of Forster’s novel Howards End, published in 1910. These words are from the novel:

Only connect! That was her whole sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer. Only connect, and the beast and the monk, robbed of the isolation that is life to either, will die.

That character, Margaret Schlegel, also says, “The more people one knows the easier it becomes to replace them.” Was Forster amazingly prescient, or what? And ambivalent. Every new advance in tech is a double-edged sword, and he was keenly aware.

As Childhood Obesity News has mentioned before, the United Kingdom’s National Obesity Observatory lists four areas that are essential to pursue: behavioral, biological, psychological, and social. Interestingly, experts there arrived at the conclusion that it is more effective to concentrate on psychological factors than to focus specifically on weight loss.

Other experts are skeptical:

Despite the promising early results, there is currently no evidence to suggest that using apps alone can outperform standard psychological therapies, or reduce the need for antidepressant medications.

Nevertheless, the Mayo Clinic reports that both in the United States and the United Kingdom, the need for therapy is not met by the supply of available personnel, so “entrepreneurial professionals are busy modifying CBT into a self-help modality available via electronic devices.”

A recent study says (and quotes another study),

According to a recent meta-analysis about mindfulness-based interventions for adults who are overweight or obese, ACT produced significant effect only in reducing weight, while mindfulness approaches produced important effects on different psychological health variables and eating-related factors, so the conclusion of this meta-analysis is that mindfulness-based interventions may be both physically and psychologically beneficial for adults who are overweight or obese, but further high-quality research examining the mechanisms of action is encouraged.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “‘Only connect’? Forsterian ideology in an age of hyperconnectivity,”, 04/09/14
Source: “Can smartphone mental health interventions reduce symptoms of anxiety? A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials,”, 08/15/17
Source: “Cognitive behavioral therapy to aid weight loss in obese patients: current perspectives,”, 06/06/17
Source: “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy,”
Image by Dr. Pretlow

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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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