Coronavirus Chronicles — The Year of COVID 2022

August 12, 2022
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In 2021, the federal government released the information that in 2020, COVID-19 was the third most common cause of death in the USA.

Everything You know About Fat Is Wrong — Probably

August 10, 2022
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We’re back with another installment of the history of why people are so confused about dietary fat, even nutrition experts.

Everything You Know About Fat Is Wrong, Perhaps — Continued

August 9, 2022
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Big Fat doesn’t need to convince customers, just confuse them. Like the tobacco industry.

Everything You Know About Fat Is Wrong, Perhaps

August 8, 2022
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Some studies advocated for polyunsaturated fats and have influenced the machinery of the U.S. government to deprecate saturated fat.

Everything You Know About Fat Is Contradictory

August 5, 2022
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Many studies had proved that eating saturated fat makes a person’s blood cholesterol rise, with generally bad results, maybe even leading to a heart attack.

Everything You Know About Fat Is Wrong, Maybe

August 4, 2022
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Over the years, the Center for Science in the Public Interest held some contradicting beliefs regarding saturated fat.

Homeostasis — a Word and a Paradox

July 28, 2022
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Everybody, and literally every body, is out there trying to maintain balance while satisfying their drives and avoiding a terrible fall.

It’s Complicated, Continued

July 27, 2022
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Drive-reduction theory accepts and glorifies drives as the only possible influencers of human behavior; and the satisfaction of drives as our purpose in life.

Drive-Reduction Theory — It’s Complicated

July 26, 2022
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In the area of drive-reduction theory, people seem to have different ideas about definitions. How is this tied to the displacement theory?

Furry and Feathered Kids

July 25, 2022
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It is noteworthy when a cat uses the scratching post after a stressful encounter. Every animal has its own signifiers.

Do Animals Know What to Do?

July 20, 2022
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Where does drive-reduction theory come in, when animals experience a drive to preserve themselves from burning alive? What happens in a fire?

Drive-Reduction Theory Dissected

July 19, 2022
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Does the drive-reduction theory work well for simple motivations? For animals, sure. For humans, not so much.

What Is Drive-Reduction Theory?

July 18, 2022
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It seems that in its simplest form, drive-reduction theory has to do with physiological (bodily) needs. It’s more complicated though.

Even Behind Closed Doors

July 14, 2022
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Here are some alternative things that children can do indoors rather than stare at screens. Even a small amount of motion is more beneficial than inactivity.

For the Sake of Movement

July 13, 2022
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Mental and emotional problems can manifest through the body, and destructive fat is one of their favorite channels.

Wiggle Room Strategies

July 12, 2022
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Even under very limited circumstances, it is still important that kids move around and do things.

Tough Choices With Wiggle Room

July 11, 2022
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Any kind of active play is not only helpful but crucial to the maintenance of both physical and mental health. And you don’t necessarily need equipment.

Our Kids and Hobson’s Choice

July 8, 2022
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We have some suggestions about how to keep kids active even in restricted environments during the pandemic.

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.

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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