Social Networking and Obesity, Part 6

July 19, 2011
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So, we were discussing the positive effects of social networking via electronic devices, and how the Pew Research Center’s findings show, among other things, that social networkers are more likely to be politically active. This is a good thing, because …

Social Networking and Obesity, Part 1

July 12, 2011
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The overall mission of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project is to explore the impact of the Internet on children, families, and communities. Last month, they released the report “Social networking sites and our lives.” The 85- …

Chips = The Biggest Demon

June 29, 2011

We told you. Didn’t we tell you? Now, here is Alicia Chang saying the same thing, a propos of a Harvard University study which appeared in The New England Journal of Medicine. Its title is “Changes in Diet and Lifestyle and Long-Term Weight Gain in Wom …

Publication in Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention

June 28, 2011
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A while back, we mentioned that Dr. Pretlow’s latest paper was due to be published by Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention. The future has become the present, and the document is now online. (The print version of Volume 19 #4, July …

Childhood Obesity and Starbucks: What’s Up With That?

June 17, 2011
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Every now and then, some part of the food industry proves to be head and shoulders above the rest. In the realm of addictiveness, for instance, one of the unquestioned leaders is Starbucks. Back in 2006, The Wall Street Journal reporter Janet Adamy too …

Parents as Enablers and Saboteurs, Part 2

June 15, 2011

The illustration on this page could be read in a couple of ways: one person might see a delicious Mother’s Day treat made specially for Mom. Which is probably what the photographer intended. Someone with a darker imagination — and you can picture this …

Parents as Enablers and Saboteurs, Part 1

June 14, 2011
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Parents want to know what to do about childhood obesity. The answers are difficult ones because most of them involve a change in philosophical outlook and/or everyday behavior — a change made by parents, that is. When we parents set out to fix our kid …

The Most Addictive Substance

May 31, 2011
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The more you look into the number one addictive substance behind childhood obesity, the more people you find who have seemingly devoted their entire lives and careers to the specific mission of warning us about it. Take Nancy Appleton, for instance. He …

The Thing About Food Addiction

May 2, 2011

The Yale study “Neural Correlates of Food Addiction” has changed the landscape. Medical professionals and even regular people who were previously voices crying in the wilderness have been vindicated to a very great extent. And more of these regular peo …

Ending Childhood Obesity Through Healthy Eating & Exercise?

April 27, 2011

I recently witnessed two teenagers in a group, one advising the other how to lose weight. The first teen glibly proclaimed, All you gotta do is eat healthy and exercise! Whereupon, the second teen indignantly retorted, That is sooo not it!!! I know wha …

Hyperpalatable Foods: Science or Science Fiction? Part 1

April 21, 2011
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What do we know about the chemical commonly known as salt? According to David Kessler, the former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, over-eating might be due to… the combination of fats, sugars and salt used by food manufactures to …

The Nature of Food Addiction

April 19, 2011
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Relatively speaking, one of the disadvantages of food addiction is that obesity often follows. Plenty of alcoholics are able to hide their condition. People who are hooked on street drugs or prescription meds are often able to function in society witho …

Bigger Clothes, Bigger Kids? On Fashion and Obesity

April 15, 2011

Sometimes, people pay attention to the oddest things. The obesity epidemic crept up with its associated signs and symptoms — for instance, a lot more cases of diabetes — but what really made headlines was when, for example, school officials noticed t …

A Bit of a Conflict of Interest

March 21, 2011
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In America, among kids ages four to 17, about 8% are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD.) They have a hard time sitting still, following a train of thought, being regimented, staying quiet, and settling down. And even though …

The Edible Schoolyard

March 8, 2011
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We talked about garden-based nutrition education, also known as garden-based learning, or GBL. We made connections between the benefits that kids derive from GBL, and the ways in which children can avoid falling prey to a crippling dependency on hedoni …

Don’t Just Stand There — Grow Something! Part 2

March 7, 2011
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We have been looking at some ideas about kids and gardening, schools, and childhood obesity, and the relationships between them. Many people are upset about school lunches, which sometimes involve such undesirable elements as vending machines, fast-foo …

Breastfeeding, Health, and Childhood Obesity

March 3, 2011
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New research comes along every day, and breastfeeding is currently a topic of much concern (we have been exploring some of its angles on this blog). The latest interesting findings come from the Colorado School of Public Health, reported on for Busines …

The “DSM-5” and Obesity, Part 2

February 8, 2011
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We looked yesterday at the difficulties faced by the editors of the forthcoming Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, DSM-5, as explained by Gary Greenberg, who also talks about the currently favored method of considering an array of symptoms. Until a mor …

Comfort Eating and Regular People

February 3, 2011
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The psychological food dependence-addiction lens is a new and still somewhat unpopular paradigm, because it has to do with addiction to food as the cause of much obesity. Looking through that lens, we see that while legislative measures are useful, wha …

Comfort Eating and Kelly Osbourne

February 2, 2011
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Here is Kelly Osbourne, looking much different than she used to, on the cover of the February issue of British edition of Cosmopolitan, with an article inside, titled “I was an emotional eater.” Reporter Kara Gause says, [… S]he’s at once Madonna circa …

Comfort Eating and Carrie Fisher

February 1, 2011
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Yesterday we discussed the difficulty, for parents and health professionals concerned about childhood obesity, in having a positive effect, or making any impact at all, on the production, advertising, or availability of junk food. Call it less-than-opt …

Reviews, Presentations, & Publications

January 24, 2011
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How gracious of Zoë Harcombe to send flattering words out into the world, in her review of Overweight: What Kids Say! For any author, the good opinion of a respected peer is a substantial reward. When that reviewer puts as much attention into the matte …

The Childhood Obesity Perfect Storm, Part 7

January 6, 2011
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We have talked about the Childhood Obesity Perfect Storm before, and its various components such as the existence of cleverly engineered highly pleasurable foods, the ubiquitous availability of those foods to kids, and the way the products are marketed …

“Jelly and the Donuts” Vs. Childhood Obesity

December 29, 2010

Childhood obesity is such a complicated problem that we need to come at it from every possible direction, and chip away at it from any angle that looks promising. Dr. Pretlow has been calling attention to the fact that food addiction is real, and needs …

Stress-Eating and Recession Obesity

December 28, 2010
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You know a writer is onto something when a piece she wrote almost two years ago is even more true than on the day it was first published. Georgia Lund, a contributor to the Yahoo! Network, made a few observations about the relationship between the murk …

Obesity Tales, Part 2

December 16, 2010
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Connie Bennett quit sugar more than 10 years ago, and wrote about it in her book, Sugar Shock! This all-pervasive substance can be a problem not only for the obese, but for just about anybody. Bennett says, The theory of sugar addiction or dependency – …

Childhood Obesity Addressed by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act

December 15, 2010
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Here is the goal, as stated by President Barack Obama: [… W]hen our kids walk into the lunch room, we want to be sure that they’re getting balanced, nutritious meals that they need to succeed in the classroom. Obviously, children who are malnourished a …

Dietary Fat as Obesity Villain

December 14, 2010

Let’s see what Dr. Mark Hyman, founder of The UltraWellness Center, has to say. We have quoted him before, by the way, on the subject of food addiction. He and Dr. Pretlow share an interesting characteristic. Neither of them are prejudiced against what …

Television Advertising and Childhood Obesity, Part 5

December 13, 2010

Would you be surprised to learn that we have talked about TV before? Not with a title like this one! And you probably wonder what there could possibly be more to say about the immense amount of money spent by food corporations that relentlessly fill ou …

Big Bottoms, Wide Loads, and Childhood Obesity

December 10, 2010
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The Council on Size & Weight Discrimination (CSWD) has issued a statement of its position on obesity, discrimination, prejudice, equality, business best practices, false advertising, economic exploitation, negative publicity, and other aspects of t …

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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