Fat-Shaming Roundup

July 7, 2022
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Judging a person’s health based on their appearance is almost as intrusive and unjustifiable as rating a woman’s appearance on a scale of 1 to 10.

Inspiring Ideas

June 30, 2022
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When animals do displacement behavior and when people do procrastination, it all boils down to the same thing, which is “avoidance behavior.”

Tinbergen’s Four Questions

June 29, 2022
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Amidst the controversy that arose over the work of ethology’s founders, including Niko Tinbergen, his “Four Questions” have stood the test of time pretty well.

Tinbergen’s Later Phases

June 28, 2022
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Over the years, many scientists were having trouble with the untrammeled practice of assuming parallels between animal behavior and human behavior.

Tinbergen, Lorenz, and Animals (Continued)

June 27, 2022
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Tracing the history of the collaboration between Nikolaas Tinbergen and Konrad Lorenz because it encompasses some of the ideas in Dr. Pretlow’s current project.

Tinbergen, Lorenz, and Animals

June 24, 2022
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Our recent posts have focused on Nikolaas Tinbergen because he was one of the scientists who contributed most to the earliest theories about ethology.

What Is Ethology? (Continued)

June 23, 2022
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Ethology is the study of animal behavior, particularly under natural conditions in the creatures’ natural environment.

What Is Ethology?

June 22, 2022
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The field of ethology is the biological study of animal behaviors, both instinctive and learned, in nature.

Animals in a Vacuum

June 21, 2022
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Why do humans get to define what is an inappropriate stimulus, and what is abnormal behavior?

Bad Distraction vs. Good Distraction

June 17, 2022
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This series is about helping kids find things to do with their hands (and in some cases, their mouths) that will help them avoid snacking.

Some Basic Projects

June 16, 2022
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Let’s aim for a family culture that includes the very important standard of not dragging consumption into every mundane activity.

More Positive Moves for Parents

June 10, 2022
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One big reason why kids eat is because they are unhappy. Whether the parent feels like that is justified, or not, is irrelevant.

Addiction and Consequences

June 8, 2022
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Addiction can foster some really twisted thinking, and people who are hooked on eating are no exception. Children are not exempt, either.

Shame and Guilt, Guilt and Shame

June 7, 2022
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Guilt is an arrow; shame is a thick obscuring fog. Guilt is objective and can be disproven; shame is subjective and can only be dispelled.

Similar Emotions, Different Results

June 6, 2022
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Guilt as an emotional “first responder” can be beneficial. It can serve as a “note to self” that behavior needs to be corrected.

Breastfeeding Steadily Gains Traction Against Obesity

May 31, 2022
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The discussion of the effects of C-section births on a child’s development and how breastfeeding affects the baby’s microbiome continues.

Everything You Know About Breastfeeding Is Wrong, Continued Again

May 27, 2022
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Following the two previous posts, we go deeper into two sub-topics: birth by surgery and the suspected reason why that seems to contribute to childhood obesity.

Everything You Know About Breastfeeding Is Wrong, Continued

May 26, 2022
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We continue our discussion about the actual expense involved in breastfeeding, which is believed to help prevent obesity.

Everything You Know About Breastfeeding Is Wrong

May 25, 2022
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Baby formula’s current, heavily politicized supply chain problem presents an opportunity to make several points when planning to breastfeed.

Happiness Quotient vs. Obesity, Continued

May 23, 2022
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Some countries have a fortunate genetic heritage that leaves their feel-good genes unfettered, making them happy countries. Let’s look at the inner workings.

Happiness Quotient vs. Obesity

May 20, 2022
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Do certain genes exert influence over a person’s likelihood of developing an addiction to food and/or eating? It does seem likely.

Obesity and Addiction Debate Points

April 28, 2022
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We live in an environment that creates food addicts on purpose.

Obesity and Addiction Debates

April 27, 2022
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It appears to Dr. Pretlow, as well as to leaders in addiction science, that addiction and obesity both stem from one source.

More History of a Concept

April 21, 2022
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How much does it matter whether or not the client is invested in the addiction paradigm? For one, a recovering addict has to acknowledge the loss of control.

Some Addictive History

April 20, 2022
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The longer society continues arguing policy and regulatory points, the longer we can put off needing to really do something.

Food Addiction Angles

April 19, 2022
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The Food Addiction Institute (FAI) says that 87 million Americans are obese, and maybe half of those fulfill the FAI’s definition of addicted.

Addiction and Displacement

April 11, 2022
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It’s not the food that is addictive, it’s the eating. This offers hope that the displacement mechanism may be useful in the treatment of eating addiction.

Unraveling the Mysteries of Addiction

April 8, 2022
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The big difference between overeating and the overuse of heroin, or even caffeine, is that a person can live without heroin and caffeine, but not without food.

Ingestive Behavior Gone Awry

April 7, 2022
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Leaders in addiction science concur that addiction and obesity both reflect the consequences of ingestive behavior gone awry.

Coronavirus Chronicles — Yes, Kids Get COVID-19

April 6, 2022
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“Kids don’t get COVID-19.” “They don’t get it very bad.” “They don’t spread it around.” Simultaneously, things constantly happen to prove otherwise.

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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