Category: Food Addiction

The food addiction paradigm is a primary cause of the childhood and adult obesity epidemic. Highly pleasurable foods, such as junk food and fast food, can be addictive. Posts in this section explore food addiction and its impact on obesity.

A Book That Explains a Lot

June 12, 2023
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In the course of exorcising personal demons, a terribly difficult and challenging writing experience became a personal case study and a philosophy textbook.

Weight-Loss Drugs — Bait and Switch?

May 22, 2023
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People have all kinds of reasons to pursue weight loss, but then they might discover they have been sold a life-long chemical dependency.

Till Death Us Do Part, Continued

May 19, 2023
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In a large number of cases the new weight-loss medications only work while the person is taking them.

Till Death Us Do Part

May 18, 2023
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Here is more about the same weight-loss drugs, the ones based on synthetic GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1), that have been referenced in several recent posts.

On the Rebound, Continued

May 17, 2023
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With weight-loss drugs, the rebound effect is to be expected, and no one should be shocked by the body’s tendency to pile the weight back on again.

On the Rebound

May 16, 2023
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The “rebound effect” is brutal. Here are only a few of the many available opinions about that, from diverse sources.

Weight-Loss Drugs, Exercise, and General Functionality

May 15, 2023
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While taking obesity management drugs it is essential to maintain a high level of exercise to not only lose fat but build muscle mass.

Weight-Loss Drugs and Exercise

May 12, 2023
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Weight-loss drugs are intended to be used along with deliberate diet modification and perpetual exercise, but not everyone wants to hear it.

Weight-Loss Drugs, Safety, and the Brain

May 11, 2023
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People might tend to think that if the FDA approves something, then it must be okay. As an antidote to that delusion consider this.

What Else Can Weight Loss Drugs Do?

May 10, 2023
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The avoidance of side effects might depend on a person’s shunning of entire categories of food while using tirzepatide.

Weight-Loss Drugs and Pregnancy

May 9, 2023
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The semaglutide drugs Ozempic and Wegovy, intended to treat Type 2 diabetes and obesity, respectively, are a risky bet for pregnant people.

What Else Can Tirzepatide Do?

May 8, 2023
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In addition to the possibility of hypoglycemia, this drug has been known to cause hair loss, which sounds bad.

What Tirzepatide Can Do

May 5, 2023
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The possible side effects of tirzepatide, currently marketed only as Mounjaro, range from embarrassing (like burping) to quite serious.

The Equivocal Promise of Tirzepatide

May 4, 2023
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Soon it might be legal to prescribe Mounjaro (the only medication that contains tirzepatide) to obese young teens.

The Allure of Tirzepatide, Continued

May 3, 2023
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Testing had made it clear that tirzepatide might turn out to be the most spectacularly effective weight-loss drug ever, but what are the downsides?

The Allure of Tirzepatide

May 2, 2023
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The latest new anti-obesity wonder drug, tirzepatide, is raising hopes everywhere on behalf of morbidly obese individuals (except those with type 1 diabetes).

Fries and the Causal Pathway

May 1, 2023
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Fried foods are crunchy and chewy and also involve a lot of hand-to-mouth motion, providing high displacement activity value for people with anxiety.

Rechanneling the Displacement

April 28, 2023
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Eating is ideally positioned as the go-to displacement mechanism because food is everywhere, it’s a common behavior and is part of many interactions.

News Flash: Kids Are Different

April 27, 2023
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In addition to dealing with the sources of the displacement, it also is possible to replace the displacement with another displacement that is less destructive.

Displacement’s Two Faces

April 26, 2023
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It’s possible that a child who overeats can be induced to try some of life’s other satisfying activities, like the ones Dr. Pretlow’s team has suggested.

The Value of a Passion

April 25, 2023
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The good news is that you can control your displacement mechanism, and your overeating will stop.

Extirpate the Roots of Addiction

April 24, 2023
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If the displacement mechanism accounts for overeating, then targeting this mechanism in treatment should facilitate significant reductions in overeating.

Uproot the Seeds of Addiction

April 21, 2023
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Sure, eating can reduce stress in the short term, but ultimately it creates situations that produce more stress, with all kinds of negative consequences.

Avoid Planting the Seeds of Addiction

April 20, 2023
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Is every use of the displacement mechanism a fake cure? Not if it saves the person from destruction, and helps them not to bring destruction to others.

Facets of Displacement

April 19, 2023
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Pursuing a passion can look an awful lot like an addiction, and can certainly have the same negative effects on a practical level.

Displacement Mechanism Has Two Aspects

April 18, 2023
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As previously suggested, some might have a problem with defining displacement behavior as out of context.

More Displacement Questions

April 17, 2023
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Addictive behavior makes no sense to anyone, either the person who does it, or the others who are affected.

Displacement Questions

April 14, 2023
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Traditionally, displacement activity is defined as normal behavior that happens out of context and is irrepressible. But who gets to decide that?

Training the Treacherous Mouth

April 13, 2023
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Sensory-specific satiety became a guiding principle for the processed-food industry. The biggest hits owe their success to complex formulas for the taste buds.

The Treacherous Mouth, Again

April 12, 2023
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Fat does not seem to have a hedonic breakpoint, so combining it with sugar promotes overeating very effectively.

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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.

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