In the world of BrainWeighve, triggers are…

[…] things that cause the displacement mechanism in your brain to fire, so you get an urge to eat, even though you’re not really hungry.

In the “trigger” concept area, it is very, very easy for people to fool themselves. Places, occasions, people, traditions, and culture can conspire to make unreasonable habits seem innocuous. To protect ourselves from harm in the world, we have to learn how to recognize triggers and other parts of weapons. We have to know the difference between being landed on by a ladybug or a mosquito. To survive in life, we need a boatload of skills.

Emotional events, like being “accidentally” shoved in the hallway, can cause a reaction right away, or hours later. For many people, emotional damage inspires them to break glass or yell at somebody. In others, it inspires hunger.

Nasty little machine

An emotional trigger works remotely, and with varying amounts of time delay. It seeks out the little land mines we all have buried inside us and detonates them. Everybody carries around a collection of those, even infants. (Why else would they cry so much?)

The sad fact is, some of those emotional stealth bombs were implanted when we were babies. Others snuck into us last week, and they all need to be rooted out and banished. They can be hard to catch because often, emotional stingers don’t sink in for a few hours or days. When they do, they can find caches of fuel that have been buried in us for years. Or not. This app gives us a choice about that.

Some of us like to believe that we are too strong to be influenced by emotions we can’t even identify, and certainly do not want to admit to feeling. Some of us like to believe we are too smart. But the really smart move is to become the world’s greatest detective, and track down those unexploded interior bombs.

The triggers are always going to be out there. We can’t do much about that. There will always be exams, annoying relatives, and golden arches. The good news is, any fireworks the triggers try to set off, can be disarmed.

The fixer

With BrainWeighve, the Rescue button takes you to your stored list of action plans, or to help in making a new action plan, or both. The manual says,

Just identifying your stressful situation should give some stress relief.

That is not an exaggeration, because knowing the true cause of your own distress makes you more aware than a large percentage of adults on the planet. Coming up with an action plan is the next step toward relief. Whether that plan works out well or not, the app will store it, so in a quiet moment, you can go back and ponder on it.

It also reminds you of your victories and refreshes your memory about what has worked successfully in the past. The sad truth is that the self-destructive part of us has all kinds of tricks up its sleeve, one of which is wiping successes and victories from our memories to make us feel hopeless and incompetent. When self-defeating impulses try to pin us to the floor, it can be very helpful to have a record of things that worked before.

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Profiles: Kids Struggling with Weight

Profiles: Kids Struggling with Obesity top bottom

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.

Food & Health Resources