What Is a Diet?

October 8, 2020

Human diet includes thousands of items, many of them replete with harmful chemicals and/or empty calories. The word implies neither health benefits nor choice.

Coronavirus Chronicles — Displacement Is Substitution

June 3, 2020

Displacement activity occurs in many forms, of which eating is one. But what happens when there just isn’t any food?

Coronavirus Chronicles — eHealth to the Rescue

April 22, 2020
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School closures plus shelter-in-place orders are wreaking havoc on family life, and kids eat in response to stress and boredom — but e-health can help.

Coronavirus Chronicles — Boredom and Distraction

April 20, 2020

For anyone whose go-to stress response is eating, these are particularly bad times, whether eating is a chemical addiction or a behavioral addiction.

Bully Wrangling

March 9, 2020
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The realization that “It’s not me, it’s them” can go a long way toward relieving the stress of being bullying.

Body, Mind, and Bariatric Surgery

January 22, 2020
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If a person was unable to cope with things like dietary restriction before bariatric surgery, how are they a good bet for coping with what comes after surgery?

Does It Have to Be Surgery?

January 21, 2020
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If the patient’s obesity is medically correctable, that is a contraindication, otherwise known as a reason not to choose surgery.

Fizzy Drinks and Human Rights Abuse

January 7, 2020
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Many people agree that childhood obesity is a social justice issue, and should be addressed by policy makers, the education system, and parents. But how?

Bariatric Surgery’s Progress

November 21, 2019
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Things have been happening in the world of bariatric surgery. Let’s take a peek at some of the highlights from past Childhood Obesity News discussions first.

W8Loss2Go — the Personal Touch

October 15, 2019
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In short videos, formerW8Loss2Go study participant Carly Hurt talks about her experiences as part of the study and about the importance of openness and honesty.

The Fog of Addiction

September 16, 2019
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Some describe addiction as neither a moral failing nor a disease, but an adaptation, although the methods addicts use might be hard to understand.

Parallels in Tobacco, Alcohol, and Food Control

April 15, 2019
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Healthful meals, parental education, and portion control, to give three examples, are essential elements of Dr. Pretlow’s W8Loss2Go program.

How Funny Is Fat?

January 10, 2019
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In Dr. Pretlow’s W8Loss2Go program, withdrawal from a problem food is meant to culminate in abstinence. Otherwise, it isn’t really withdrawal, is it?

Addiction, Portion Control, Snacks, and Fat

November 21, 2018
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Is food addiction a substance addiction? A behavioral addiction? If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck — chances are, it is a duck.

The Run-up to January’s Clinical Trial Launch

October 18, 2018
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The three-year randomized controlled trial with the W8Loss2Go app is launching in Jan. 2019, with 180 overweight adolescent participants.

Outstanding in Their Field: Suzette Glasner-Edwards, Ph.D.

October 17, 2018
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Who doesn’t want to improve our ability to treat substance use disorders? And what are the benefits of using technology to assess and treat addiction?

In Pediatric Obesity

August 22, 2018
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A continuing discussion of the recently published “An addiction model-based mobile health weight loss intervention in adolescents with obesity.”

Smartphone Therapy Outlook

June 14, 2018
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As we have seen, academicians from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia worked together on a meta analysis of 22 mental health interventions administered by smartphone. They learned that many patients get along just fine with guidance f …

The Mind and the Scale

April 30, 2018
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In Dr. Pretlow’s W8Loss2Go program, once the person is unhooked from problem foods and relinquished the snacking habit, portion reduction stage is next.

The Place of the Mind

April 27, 2018
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While making major dietary changes, the first two or three weeks are crucial. Resistance skills are vital in fighting the inability to resist cravings.

Outstanding in Their Field: Sarah-Jeanne Salvy, Ph.D.

April 20, 2018
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Dr. Sarah-Jeanne Salvy, Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine at the University of Alabama, is part of Dr. Pretlow’s upcoming trial of W8Loss2Go.

Outstanding in Their Field: Claudia Borzutzky, M.D.

April 16, 2018
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Dr. Claudia Borzutzky appears as one of three Investigators, along with Dr. Alaina Vidmar and Cassandra Fink, of Dr. Pretlow’s W8Loss2Go program.

Outstanding in Their Field: Alaina Vidmar, M.D.

April 13, 2018
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Pediatric endocrinologist Alaina Phillips Vidmar, M.D., is organizing the three-year W8Loss2Go smartphone app clinical trial slated to begin in 2019.

Non-Compliant Behavior in Clinical Trials

February 6, 2018
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Why would the clinical trial participants sabotage the program designed to help them? Looking at the root of non-compliant behavior may help find answers.

Science and Compliance

February 1, 2018
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Subjects in the drug trials and Dr. Pretlow’s W8Loss2Go program participants share the necessity of personal integrity, responsibility and accountability.

On Cheating and Weight Loss

January 29, 2018
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Obese people tend to underestimate their caloric intake and to overestimate their physical activity. People of average weight also under-report their intake.

More Wearable Tech

January 24, 2018
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Could childhood obesity be impacted by a structured weight loss program based on the Fitbit activity tracker or other wearable technology?

This Thing Called Relapse

January 22, 2018
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In addiction recovery, a relapse consists of an episode that turns into a spiral. The whole trick is to never take that first step back into bondage.

Up-to-Date Quality of Life Roundup

November 21, 2017
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Are obese kids miserable? According to many indications, the answer is yes, although getting confirmation is not as easy as it sounds.

Why Measuring Matters

November 9, 2017
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The mind is a trickster, especially when rewards are involved, and food is very rewarding.

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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