Addiction, Portion Control, Snacks, and Fat

Yesterday, Childhood Obesity News talked about criticisms that have been leveled at some of Dr. Pretlow’s ideas, and will now suggest previous posts that might clear up some misconceptions. For instance, one reviewer did not understand the importance, in the W8Loss2Go program, of weighing portions.

Here are the suggested articles:

Another aspect of WeightLoss2Go that has been disparaged is the elimination of snacking. We are frankly incredulous that anyone could question the necessity of curbing the snacking habit if weight is to be normalized. Out of every 100 lists of weight-loss hints ever published, it is quite likely that 99 of them encourage the banishment of snacking.

These are a few posts on the subject:

A critic is disappointed that W8Loss2Go does not roundly condemn dietary fat, and cites opinions from a decade ago which declared that a low-fat diet is imperative. That is literally old news, and in fact fake news. A few short years ago, the public became aware of the deception carried out by the sugar industry, which paid scientists to falsely name fat as the biggest obesity villain.

For more information about this, please see:

Is food addiction a substance addiction, a behavioral addiction, a combination of both, or neither? We could approach the question through the old “duck” analogy. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck — chances are, it is a duck.

Self-identified food addicts act in ways indistinguishable from other kinds of addicts. A food habit resembles addiction in several key ways: The person has no power over it, and it becomes the most important thing in her or his life, to which all other values are sacrificed. Also, destructive overeating is amenable to addiction-oriented interventions. Taken together, these similarities could be characterized as looking, walking, and quacking like a duck.

If a condition is treatable in the same way as addiction, but critics are not comfortable with the terminology, maybe it could be dubbed a quasi-addiction or a pseudo-addiction or a crypto-addiction. To quibble over semantics seems a waste of energy that could be put to better use, namely, in treating these patients with methods that have been shown to work.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

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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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