How Be Pro-Active and Protective

This is an interesting topic because when parents think about protecting their children, they have a certain gallery of pictures in their minds, concerning the events and people that children need to be protected from. They tend to visualize a car accident, a fire, a kidnapper, or a rogue grizzly bear escaped from the zoo. But kids in a room, peacefully watching television? Not so much.

And yet, an astonishing number of those parents absorbed monumental amounts of television advertising, and look where it brought them. In many cases, they are as big as two or three healthy-weight people. TV junk food ads got right into their heads, and they grew up thinking it was normal to add food to every social occasion, and to carry a sugary beverage with them at all times.

Of course, food abuse has occurred throughout history. There was always the occasional King Henry VIII who could afford to eat as much as he wanted, and who, it just so happened, wanted a lot. And they didn’t even have the alchemical miracle of processed food back then. It was all natural and organic, and sure, people got fat on that, simply from eating too much of it — just as they are so easily able to do today.

Dangerous change

But eventually, along came the food business revolution that involved laboratories and molecular-level tinkering, and all kinds of sinister changes transpired. You pick up a package of something and you don’t know what’s in there anymore. We finally got mandatory informational labels, which turned out to be a joke because even college graduates can’t decipher them. All this happened concurrently with the Age of Advertising, when we learned that anybody can be talked into anything.

Today we still have television, and several other kinds of screens as well. They are blessings and curses. They are why a caring parent can peruse collections of hints, tips, and inspirations from several sources, about ways to shape a child’s path and avoid the fate of food addiction, or indeed, any addiction. What makes this so hard sometimes is that different kids react differently to things in the world. Studying martial arts might be the thing that saves one child, while playing the piano saves another.

Childhood is the time to spread out before a young human the smorgasbord of possibilities, consisting not of food items but of experience items. Kids are born with curiosity, imagination, ingenuity, and a raft of other splendid qualities. We can help them discover the things — other than edible commodities — that life offers. We can spread out the banquet of healthy displacement activities, and let them discover alternatives to “turning to food.”

Another way

As previously mentioned, this is why Dr. Pretlow has developed BrainWeighve, “based on the displacement mechanism, adaptable for any addiction.” As Childhood Obesity News has previously indicated, the object is to get out in front of cravings. In an extreme example, the legendary hero Odysseus directed his crew members to tie him to the ship’s mast. This was to render him incapable of responding to cravings, in the form of beautiful women playing enticing music, that called out to tempt him.

Now, we do not need to resort to such a primitive measure. We help people become figuratively, and metaphorically, “tied” to constructive and healthy displacements that are so satisfying, the siren songs of destructive habits do not even have a chance.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Image by Dennis Jarvis/CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

FAQs and Media Requests: Click here…

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