W8Loss2Go — the Personal Touch

Now 18, Carly Hurt participated several years ago in the Seattle W8Loss2Go study, and lost a significant amount of weight. More importantly, she learned that it pays to put in the effort toward life transformation. In short videos, she talks about her experiences as part of the study and about the importance of openness and honesty.

A typical quotation is,

I knew that the more honest I was, the easier it was going to be for me to receive help.

Especially in a therapeutic, counseling situation, there is no point in being anything less than honest. Until a someone realizes that she is drowning her issues in food, not much else can happen. One of the insidious aspects of this kind of obsession is that it takes over the mind. A person who is always thinking about what she will eat next does not usually have the psychic energy to function effectively in other areas of life.

Feeling better about oneself is always a worthy goal. Admitting that long-term maintenance can be a grind, is freeing. Carly speaks candidly about the challenges of hanging in there, and about her personal knowledge of slip-ups.

It is still Bullying Prevention Month

In a piece of reportage about the psychosocial effects of bullying, Carly estimates in her middle school that 50-75 percent of her fellow students were bullied. And she was one of them — shoved around, mocked, threatened. Emotional and psychological damage occurs when the victim uses eating as a coping mechanism, which Carly believes is the case with at least half the kids who are bullied. So in addition to everything else, it creates a vicious circle. Obesity causes bullying, which causes more obesity, another situation that Carly describes.

But the good news is, it is possible to change direction, and banish the destructive habit of displacement activity in all its forms. Carly is now a teen coach for the multi-center trial with the W8Loss2Go app in Southern California. Several more of her short, to-the-point videos are also accessible through the W8Loss2Go smartphone app, and the sneak preview links are right here. One covers the topic of shame, another discusses motivation, and others cover the practical side of weighing meals, and food scale tips.

Vicious circles

One of the many professionals who has discussed the self-perpetuating nature of some eating disorders is Sylvia Rimm, Ph.D. Self-esteem is a volatile commodity, that withers under the stress caused by bullying, and in turn affects the victim by cultivating personality traits, like timidity, that attract yet more bullying. People who deal with these distressing feelings by eating become larger, which leads to the infliction of still more distress.

As always, opinions differ. Journalist Anne Harding reported,

Still, the findings don’t rule out the possibility that being overweight and being bullied share a common, underlying cause, says Matthew N. Davis, M.D., a primary care physician and the director of the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.

“There’s always been the question in the back of people’s minds about whether there was another factor involved which was related to both bullying and obesity,” says Davis.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “Obese kids more vulnerable to bullies,” CNN.com, 05/03/10
Image via Dropbox

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Profiles: Kids Struggling with Weight

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The Book

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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