Food Noise Cacophony, Part 1

No, food noise isn’t just what you hear when chewing a hunk of celery or a mouthful of chips. Actually, according to Dominique Ruggieri, Ph.D., it is at least four different things, but the one to concentrate on right now is this:

Have you ever spent a good part of your mental energy worrying about the food you ate, the food you’re thinking of eating, the food you might eat at the next event you go to, or the food you should be eating?

This is a newsworthy subject right now because so many people are taking the new GLP-1 weight-loss drugs. A large number of them are delighted that their food noise is finally silenced, or at least muffled. Of course, a certain amount of mental energy should rightfully be directed toward these matters.

For instance, there is an appropriate time to think about future eating, and that is while composing the grocery shopping list. It is to be hoped that we give some thought to making wise choices. While preparing a meal is also a suitable time to have food on the brain. But nobody wants that channel playing 24/7.

Dr. Ruggieri recommends the definition put forth by chef Bethenny Frankel, who tagged it as an “inner food dialogue, commenting on and criticizing everything you eat, or think about eating, or don’t eat,” and goes on to say,

However, some of my clients have told me that just making them aware of their food noise has been a “game changer” for them. I think this is because once you can recognize food noise for what it is — just critical self-commentary that seeks to derail your happiness and your healthy living style — you can often start to notice when it’s happening and talk yourself down from it.

The first step toward that is to notice what circumstances bring on the food noise. Is it worse around holidays, or when you are hanging out with a certain crowd? Or when you’re not taking care of yourself in other ways, or what? This author recommends talking it out, in which case a group situation might be the way to go. reporter Maggie O’Neill also wrote a food noise explainer. First, it is a survival mechanism that reminds the body to seek nutritious substances and consume them, to maintain life. But that basically elegant design can get out of hand for a number of reasons: stress, genetics, insufficient sleep, metabolic syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), food addiction and other eating disorders, and even some medications, like beta-blockers, birth control pills, antidepressants, and antipsychotics, that are prescribed to manage various conditions.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “Recognizing Food Noise,”, 04/07/23
Source: “What Is ‘Food Noise’? How Drugs Like Ozempic and Wegovy Quiet Obsessive Thoughts About Food,”, 07/03/23
Image by David Long/CC BY 2.0

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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.
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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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