Go Amuse Your Bouche

April 10, 2023
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The trouble is, a very large segment of society has devolved into a bunch of chronic mouth-amusers.

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.

Coronavirus Chronicles — The Power of the Invisible

April 15, 2020

In all the years that Dr. Pretlow has worked with obese children, boredom as the reason for overeating has been a persistent theme.

Dr. Pretlow’s Most Recent Presentation

February 6, 2020
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Let’s look at Dr. Pretlow’s presentation, “Food/Eating Addiction and Displacement Theory,” from the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference in Oman.

Making Pounds Disappear

November 8, 2019
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On reading Anne M. Fletcher’s book, “Sober for Good: New Solutions for Drinking Problems,” you might notice the parallels with overeating and obesity.

What to Build, and Why

October 29, 2019
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Emotional eating is probably the biggest cause of childhood obesity while labeling is just another word for name-calling, and name-calling never ends well.

A Question for Parents

October 28, 2019
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What if we told you that life with kids could be incredibly improved at no cost? The key is a change of attitude, life’s best bargain.

Can Teachers Be Bullies?

October 21, 2019
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Overweight and obese kids are vulnerable to being bullied by their normal-weight peers, but also, sadly, by their parents and teachers.

Time Constraints and Healthy Food Choices

July 8, 2019
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Even with a healthfully-stocked and affordable grocery store nearby, working parents just don’t have time to shop, prepare, and cook.

Stress Eating Roundup, Continued

March 14, 2018
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This post wanders down memory lane to revisit some highlights of emotional consumption lore.

Stress, Apnea, Inertia, and Habits

March 8, 2018
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Insufficient or poor sleep causes fatigue and stress. This may result in comfort or stress eating, more weight gain, and more stress.

Sorrow and Silence

August 2, 2017
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Dr. Pretlow has been saying that when children and teens suffer from obesity their lives can be as miserable as the lives of youngsters afflicted by cancer.

Obese Teens May Be Plagued by Orthopedic Problems

December 5, 2016
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The sooner obesity begins, and the longer it goes on, the worse the potential for damage, including the appearance of co-morbidities that make life complicated.

Pet Week — a Quick Review

August 8, 2016
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Studies found that children in dog-owning homes tend to get more exercise. Pets can also provide comfort and exert a relaxing influence that relieves the stress in many lives.

Hot Hydration

July 28, 2016
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People with higher BMIs need a lot of water, because the body’s need for hydration is connected to weight, surface area, and metabolic rate.

Advertising and Slogans

June 1, 2016
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Even if advertising does nothing more than stimulate hunger, rather than desire for one particular brand, it is still effective in the larger sense.

More on Morbid Obesity in Kids

May 4, 2016
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The photographer titled this “Talk about junk in the trunk!” Food addiction has been discussed here many times. Like other popular expressions, it is an incomplete shorthand term for something that takes more than a few syllables to say. The addiction …

The Motivation Puzzle

October 20, 2014
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Last time, Childhood Obesity News considered why kids might lack motivation to take part in a free program that could help them achieve healthy weight; or why, once enrolled in such a program, they might drag their feet and hold back from full particip …

Advice from Former Obese Kids

April 10, 2014
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In the pages of Reddit.com’s Fat People Stories, you might find a 400-pound eighth-grade boy who believes that change is impossible. Also, you might find a former binge eater who was raised by overweight and nutritionally ignorant parents to become an …

Childhood Obesity Turning Points and ‘Loser’ Stories

April 3, 2014
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Thanks to the magic of Reddit, a website where anybody is welcome to contribute their experiences about anything, research can dig up a trove of information about some very personal issues. For instance, what moves a child or a young teen on the obesit …

The Birds, the Bees and Motivation

January 22, 2014
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Yesterday, Childhood Obesity News contemplated some of the various discomforts and humiliations of being an obese child or teenager. It seemed like there were a lot — but that wasn’t the end. No, Chapter 3 of Dr. Pretlow’s book Overweight: What Kids S …

The Wonderful World of Motivation

January 21, 2014
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Yesterday, Childhood Obesity News looked at the lives of two celebrities who left obesity in the past, citing very different sources of motivation. Today, let’s take an overview of the motivations named by a bunch of youngsters. They’re not celebrities …

Which Came First, and Who Has it Worse?

January 16, 2014
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“Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” is an age-old question that capsulizes the mystery of causation. One of the areas where it applies is childhood obesity. Do kids start by being in emotional pain and adopt comfort eating as a palliative measu …

Childhood Obesity and Quality of Life

January 6, 2014
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A little over 10 years ago, research was done on the quality of life experienced by children in various life situations. The starting point was a prior study that had compared the quality of life experienced by young cancer patients with children who s …

Dr. Pretlow in Contemporary Pediatrics

November 25, 2013
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The September issue of Contemporary Pediatrics rounded up the opinions of several experts on the question of how to make a difference in reducing the alarming rate of childhood obesity. The author, Lisette Hilton, found that they agree on one thing: te …

Doctors and Regular People, Part 3

July 18, 2013
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Childhood Obesity News has been looking at some of the mistakes doctors make, but what could they be doing differently, and correctly? Dr. Pretlow believes in the usefulness of asking obese kids about their lives and feelings, especially the feelings t …

A Problematic Holiday for Childhood Obesity

October 12, 2012
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Dr. Pretlow would very much like to see a new, improved Halloween, because the way things are now, it’s all about sabotage. Even kids who have stayed pretty close to the healthful eating path the rest of the year have trouble keeping their behavior in …

Vanquish Food Cravings With “W8 Loss 2 Go”

January 24, 2012
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As Childhood Obesity News has mentioned before, a large part of the human race seems to have lost the instinct that tells a healthy animal what to eat and what to avoid. This instinct needs to be recovered or recreated, similar to what Dr. Pretlow writ …

Everything You Know Is Wrong, Part 2

August 29, 2011
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Not long ago, we looked at some of Kevin Richardson’s ideas about the obesity epidemic and quoted one of his sayings, which is worth repeating: The ideal consumer is a confused consumer. Confusion can be created in many ways. In discussing the deleteri …

INSULA, a Residential Treatment Center

August 19, 2011
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Humans have a built-in susceptibility to addiction and, as we have discussed before, the foodlike substances known as hedonic or hyper-palatable foods are purposely designed and engineered to exploit that addiction-prone tendency. Hedonic foods are, ba …

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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