The Childhood Obesity Perfect Storm, Part 6

December 8, 2010

In America, we are so immersed in food, it’s ridiculous. Sure, not everybody can afford it, but it’s out there. Everywhere we turn — in the house, in the school, in the church, in the movie theater — food is staring us in the face. What Dr. Pretlow w …

Uncontrollable Cravings and Food Addiction

December 7, 2010

Every social problem sooner or later manifests a person who embodies it, what the media calls “giving it a human face.” Among the confessions and pleas for help that have been posted in the Comfort Eating discussion at Weigh2Rock, the communications fr …

Sarah Palin Unfazed by Childhood Obesity

December 6, 2010
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Sarah Palin has been accused of being an addictive substance, in such headlines as (the following links in headlines are ours): “Why is Sarah Palin the crack cocaine addiction of the liberal party?” and “America’s addiction: Sarah Palin,” in which writ …

They Said It, We Believed It — Teens and Food Addiction

December 3, 2010

One of the features of the Weigh2Rock website is the Comfort Eating Board, which is typical of the several different discussion groups that are available so kids can talk about and seek help for their obesity problems. It even has a search function. Ju …

The Childhood Obesity Perfect Storm, Part 4

December 1, 2010
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We have talked before about the “perfect storm” that Dr. Pretlow identifies as the cause of the childhood obesity epidemic. It’s a witch’s brew of at least five elements: the high-tech production of hedonic foods; their availability to kids; the increa …

Prediction for 2011: Food Addiction Will Still Exist

November 30, 2010

Dr. Mark Hyman does not speak in polite euphemisms, but titles an essay in the bluntest terms, “Food Addiction: Could It Explain Why 70 Percent of Americans Are Fat?” Yes, it could! This is what Dr. Pretlow has been saying all along. There really is su …

Yale Childhood Obesity Study Explained by Dr. Ayala

November 15, 2010
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When a big load of research comes to fruition and becomes a published study, there is nothing finer than an articulate professional who can break it down for you. Dr. Ayala Laufer-Cahana is splendid at doing just that. The controversial new report is f …

The Childhood Obesity Perfect Storm

November 5, 2010

“Perfect storm” is a term that has been around since at least the 1930s. A perfect storm is what happens when a number of powerful factors concur in such a way that a disastrous or critical situation is created. No single one of them alone would have h …

Eat for Success, Part 5

November 3, 2010
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Rule #1: Geography is destiny, so do not live near fast food outlets. From the University of Leeds, in Northern England, comes scientific confirmation that childhood obesity is more likely to be found in kids who live near fast food restaurants, or att …

Allergies, Addiction, Childhood Obesity, and Halloween: All Scary

October 29, 2010
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“In the interest of fighting the childhood obesity epidemic, I’ve decided to eat all the Halloween candy I bought.” Just kidding. The line is from Someecards, a company that devises — you guessed it — greeting cards in electronic format. The picture …

The Food Addiction Paradigm and Resistance

October 28, 2010

“My ‘AHA’ Moment” is a short and to-the-point message written by an overweight blogger named Rebecca, who says, I finally realized that even if others can eat junk foods, foods high in the (bad) fats and carbs and drink coffee and colas, I just cannot …

A Psychological Problem, Not a Nutritional Problem

October 27, 2010

“Will Marriage Make You Fat?” is the question asked by Cynthia Ramnarace in an article that follows the histories of three different couples. She got interested in the emotional basis of obesity because of something she read: A 2008 study in the journa …

Stress, Boredom, Activity, and Childhood Obesity

October 22, 2010
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Researchers at Iowa State University, after studying the lives and health of over 1,000 teenagers, have concluded that adolescent obesity is very much connected to the increasing levels of stress. For starters, 47% of the adolescents they studied were …

Embrace Your Hunger

October 20, 2010

We have mentioned Oprah Winfrey’s chagrin when she had been told by her doctor that she would need to “embrace hunger.” Many of us would be better off learning to feel pleasant anticipation of a good meal rather than a craving for junk food. We could e …

Facets of Hunger in Childhood Obesity

October 19, 2010
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Don’t you love it when somebody brings up an angle that isn’t discussed much, but maybe ought to be? That’s what Deborah Schoeberlein did, in a piece for the Huffington Post, called “Overweight Kids? Feed Them Compassion and Mindfulness.” She’s talking …

When There Is Nothing to Do but Eat

October 15, 2010

Glenn Cook is an editorial writer for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and when he gets interested in a subject, that subject goes under the microscope for thorough examination. Recently, Cook got to thinking about the reasons for the childhood obesity ep …

National Pet Obesity Awareness Day: October 13

October 13, 2010
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First, how do we know how many pets are obese? It’s simple. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) is in its fourth year of conducting an annual survey of veterinarians and pet owners. The Association estimates that nearly 90 million animal …

Peer Groups Work for Many Addicts

October 11, 2010
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So many different fields have something to contribute to solving the childhood obesity problem, and there are a lot of things that can be done, both large and small. We’ve talked about change that can be undertaken right at home, like chewing more thor …

Childhood Obesity Awareness Month Retrospective

October 7, 2010

Last month, September 2010, was Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and there are a few details we haven’t discussed yet. For instance, “Why is McDonald’s listed as a resource for Childhood Obesity Awareness Month?” This question is posed by Michele Sim …

Eat for Success, Part 4

October 1, 2010
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We’ve talked before about various possible solutions to the childhood obesity riddle, including the simple ones. Not that a “solution” means that someone will only need to do that one thing, and immediately lose 100 pounds. But simple solutions are goo …

Eat for Success, Part 3

September 30, 2010
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Problems, mysteries, conflicts, confusion — is that all there is to the childhood obesity discussion? Absolutely not! While there is no silver bullet, what we do have are a lot of good answers that have worked for a lot of people. The amazing thing is …

Resistance to the Food Addiction Paradigm, Part 2

September 24, 2010

Back in May, when Oprah Winfrey publicly announced her food addiction, William Anderson took note. He specializes in helping people shed their extra pounds, and his book, The Anderson Method, deals with the use of psychotherapeutic techniques to achiev …

Summertime and Childhood Obesity

September 21, 2010
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As we head into autumn, let’s take a moment for summertime nostalgia, and for reflection on a problem that can increasingly be called worldwide. For instance, whatever else we may or may not have in common with China, both countries unquestionably face …

Fat Boy Thin Man: Michael Prager

September 17, 2010
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Fat Boy Thin Man is Michael Prager’s memoir of “a fat and troubled childhood that lasted almost 35 years.” He spent more than 10 years over the 300-pound mark. When Prager hit 365, he opted for standard addiction treatment, just like any substance abus …

Pop Culture and Obesity: "Fat Girls"

September 9, 2010
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In 2006, a feature film called Fat Girls was released. The story takes place in Texas, one of the worst states in America for a gay teen, especially a boy who aspires to the Broadway stage. Rodney, the main character, is played by a 20-year-old Ash Chr …

Food is the Frenemy

September 1, 2010
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Sophia Ayala Gettys, who has appeared on the Food Network’s Worst Cooks series, is a self-identified food addict, who talks about how food had brought her family together, and had always provided happiness and comfort on demand. It had also made Gettys …

An Interview With Raj Patel

August 30, 2010

Raj Patel is the author of Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System. Sadly, this interview with Patel was conducted not by us, but by Onnesha Roychoudhuri. Her work appears via Alternet, publisher of this piece, and in Salon, Mo …

The Price of Obesity, Physical and Psychological

August 5, 2010

Jeanna Bryner, managing editor at LiveScience, interviewed Sarah Gable, a researcher at the University of Missouri, about the emotional consequences of childhood obesity: low self-esteem from being teased or bullied, depression, anxiety, and loneliness …

All Jacked Up, the Junk Food Documentary

August 4, 2010
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Here’s an irresistible invitation from Mike Adams, a fervent supporter of the documentary film All Jacked Up: Your act of watching this film is, all by itself, an act of passionate protest against the corporations that would love nothing more than to t …

Solutions: Families and Communities

August 2, 2010
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Health writer Amanda Gardner recently wrote about a report completed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Trust for America’s Health. As Gardner reminds us in Business Week, Obesity is one of the biggest public health crises in the country. Ri …

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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