More on the Consensus Building Event

As promised, here is additional information about the virtual event called “Consensus Building Workshops on addiction-like symptoms related to consumption of certain foods,” which will take place in August and which still seeks more voices.

Dr. Pretlow will, of course, be participating, which is only to be expected since the group exploration is rooted in the publication titled “Reconceptualization of eating addiction and obesity as displacement behavior and a possible treatment,” which was authored by Robert Pretlow and Suzette Glasner.

The Facilitation Team is a small group associated with the United Kingdom’s Public Health Collaboration, consisting of Dr. Jen Unwin, Heidi Giaever, Molly Painschab, and Clarissa Kennedy. Its members are interested in convincing the World Health Organization to officially classify food addiction as a disease.

They are reaching out to other experts in eating disorders, addiction, psychology, psychiatry, obesity, metabolic disorders, behavior, nutrition, neuroscience, and more, to help formulate both answers and questions. The overarching objective is to reach a consensus regarding the addiction-like symptoms related to certain foods. According to this statement, the event’s intention is as follows:

Our commitment is to facilitate the discussions and collate and share the outcomes of what we hope will be a set of consensus statements, and “agreements to disagree” where appropriate, for as many groups as we can manage to facilitate.

Our intention, if possible, is to find 30 international expert academics, clinicians and researchers, who are prepared to work with us to this end. If you have contacts or colleagues who you believe may not yet have been invited and who should be part of this, please advise us accordingly.

What happens if addiction-like symptoms are ignored?

Since everybody has to eat, what do we do about the impossibility of moderation therapy, especially if food is by definition psychoactive in nature?

If food addiction is a “thing,” what general category would it fit into?

In terms of professional, academic, and public reaction, how controversial would it be to deem FA as an official disease?

If food addiction exists, how is it different from other eating disorders?

And how is it like other substance abuse disorders, and like other survival-related behavior behavior disorders like “sex addiction”?

Is food addiction even the appropriate name, or would eating addiction be more useful and accurate?

Would it be even more honest to call the whole thing stress relief addiction?

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “Reconceptualization of eating addiction and obesity as displacement behavior and a possible treatment,”, 06/22/22
Image by U.S. Dept. of Education/CC BY 2.0

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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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