Another Compendium of Holiday Posts

We continue our discussion of the roundup of our holiday posts and how the holiday season can affect the issues related to obesity and food addiction.

Obesity and Psychology at Christmas

What if we told you there just might be ways to make it through the holiday season without having a nervous breakdown? When it comes to saving your body from destructive forces, the most powerful tool at your disposal is your mind.

Hosting a holiday spread is the worst. No, the worst is being a guest at the mercy of demanding and easily offended relatives. Sadly, people have become accustomed to “handling” situations with extra alcohol. Not surprisingly, the method is often less than successful. Is there another way?

How much thought should we expend on gift choices, especially for children? (Hint: a considerable amount.)

Clean Up After Thanksgiving

What is a food coma, and how do we avoid experiencing one? Without getting all extreme and signing up for a retreat, can the average person achieve a bit of detoxing? Are there other seasonal health hazards to watch for?

Get Ready for the Christmas Calorie Blitz

Stop believing in the magic of dates. Eliminate the mindset that says, “So what if I go a little nuts over the holidays? January first, I’m back in the gym. Okay, January second.” Today is the only day we ever really have.

How do we show children we love them without ruining their health? How do parents withstand the pressures to abandon all caution and splurge out on treats? How do we restrain kids from accepting every offer of a free cookie or candy cane, without coming across like ogres?

Fitting Into the Winter Food Festivals

We can pretend that family time is all love and bliss, but what is the point, really? Is there enough armor in the world to protect us from our relatives? Dr. Billi Gordon casts a neuroscientist’s eye on the trauma that comes with the holidays and causes our rational systems and self-preservative instincts to shut down.

Is there any hope for binge eaters, compulsive overeaters, or even moderate eaters who are conditioned by a lifetime of thinking of the holidays as permission slip for imprudence? Can we possibly separate the cycles of destruction from the positive and desirable parts of the holiday experience?

Escaping Winter Holiday Hell

More from Dr. Billi Gordon, whose acute awareness of the perilous season comes from harrowing personal experience. So does his knowledge of obesity. With serious medical problems and needing an MRI, he was at one point 150 pounds too large to fit into the machine.

Yes, this is grim stuff. If people come from dysfunctional home environments — and, around the holidays, a lot of us seem to — no amount of tinsel can cover up the distress, so it might as well be faced.

The Symbolic Eating Peril

This post goes even deeper, and compulsive symbolic eating is a very ingrained behavior that we would do well to cure ourselves of, because there is so much wrong with it. Emotional eating of any kind is not just a condition in itself, but a symptom that points to complicated problems elsewhere.

Holidays and Childhood Obesity

Obese children face ferocious hazards during the holidays. Relatives who are rarely encountered will seldom refrain from remarking on how much bigger a child has grown since last time. Guess what, grownups? Even positive comments are not welcome. Just zip it. Better yet, have another piece of pie. Go ahead, put on a few pounds, and see how it feels to have people making your size a topic of conversation. Just leave the kid alone.

And have yourself a merry little Christmas, and/or any other seasonal holiday of your choice!

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Photo credit: Shari’s Berries on BY

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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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