Giving Thanks

The wonderful, dangerous winter holidays are here, and even in multicultural America they all share similar traits; in fact, one overwhelmingly paramount common trait. People celebrate by eating and drinking to excess. They put on pounds of weight and set themselves up for disappointment, if not actual disgust.

But there will be no scolding here today. Instead, a partial list of Childhood Obesity News holiday posts from the past, with brief excerpts.

All Hail the Lord of Misrule
From now until after New Year, it’s fully authorized and officially sanctioned binge time, and rather than one Lord of Misrule, we have thousands.

Holidays and Childhood Obesity
This week, Americans are squeezed between two holidays typically observed by indulging in excess. No doubt, many people already look forward to January 1, when the new personal regime of health will begin. But first, there is still a whole lot of eating and drinking to get through.

Holiday Eating Trauma — A Field Ripe for Harvest
The association of celebration with feasting is one of humankind’s oldest social phenomena. This truth brings spectacular joy and also quite a lot of anguish.

Put the Thanks Back into Thanksgiving
A few days from now, many Americans will face an annual celebratory gathering of family and/or friends that should be pure pleasure. Instead, Thanksgiving too often provides traumatic difficulties for anyone who wants to exercise sovereignty over substance intake. The issues around food can be enormous.

The Day After Thanksgiving
The day that follows a big holiday blowout is perfect for good intentions, and most of us formulate resolutions with ease. We decide to take the high road, to do everything right from here on out. But how? The advice for the day after Thanksgiving is the same as for any other day of the year.

Clean Up After Thanksgiving
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and keep this post in mind when dinner is over, and the next day. At this traditional American celebration, people tend to eat too much and eat the wrong things. It all contributes to both adult obesity and childhood obesity.

Too Much of a Good Thing: Christmas Overeating
Thanksgiving, Christmas, and several other holidays all have common characteristics. Free food is everywhere, and who can resist it? A candy cane here, a few cookies there, and pretty soon you’re looking at real calories. Some people are emotionally blackmailed into eating too much, while others eat too much without any kind of bullying.

Fitting Into the Winter Food Festivals
Thanks to his Psychology Today column “Obesely Speaking,” Dr. Billi Gordon was named one of the “30 Most Influential Neuroscientists Alive Today” by a website that specializes in helping people find the best way to get a psychology degree online.

Obesity, the Holidays, and Fitting In
At Kansas State University, journalist Darrah Tinkler interviewed an associate professor of psychological sciences Don Saucier about how eating can provide social validation, which means monkey-see/monkey-do behavior that allows a person to fit in and gain approval. Mammals developed group cohesiveness as a survival mechanism, and social attachments are even more vital for modern humans.

The Symbolic Eating Peril
A great deal of our behavior and interactions are symbolic during the holidays. We eat comfort foods for nostalgia because they have personal meaning.

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.

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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