Understanding and Managing Food #Addiction (and SUGAR!) Livestream Video Via Obesity Action Coalition (OAC)

  • Absolutely worth the watch if you like good brain food.
  • Dr. Nicole Avena is a research neuroscientist and expert in the fields of nutrition, diet and addiction. She received a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Psychology from Princeton University, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in molecular biology at The Rockefeller University in New York City. She has published over 50 scholarly journal articles, as well as several book chapters and a book, on topics related to food, addiction, obesity and eating disorders. She also edited the book, Animal Models of Eating Disorders (2012) and has a popular book of food and addiction coming out in 2014 (Ten Speed Press). Her research achievements have been honored by awards from several groups including the New York Academy of Sciences, the American Psychological Association, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Eating Disorders Association. She also maintains a blog, Food Junkie, with Psychology Today.

Carnie Wilson Speaks At WLSFA 2013 Las Vegas Luncheon

Carnie Wilson Speaks At WLSFA 2013 Las Vegas Luncheon

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Katie Jay Keynote Speaking at Southcoast Center for Weight Loss – Video

Katie Jay of www.nawls.com was the keynote speaker at an event at Southcoast Center for Weight Loss in Wareham, MA yesterday.

She is amazing.  

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Thank you, Katie.  

Here we are –

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150 patients returned to the Southcoast Center for Weight Loss Saturday for a reunion as the group marked its own milestone: 3,500 patients since Dr. Rayford Kruger launched the unit nine years ago.It is now the largest and busiest bariatric surgery program in New England, with three surgeons who perform about 650 procedures at Wareham's Tobey Hospital a year.

 

Banning large sodas is legal and smart

CNN) – A state trial judge on Monday blocked New York City's plan for a maximum 16 ounce size for a high-sugar beverage. The ban would have included sodas, energy drinks, fruit drinks and sweetened teas. But it would have excluded alcoholic beverages and drinks that are more than 50% milk, such as lattes. The ban would have applied to restaurants, movie theaters, stadiums and mobile food carts. But it would not have applied to supermarkets and convenience stores, such as 7-Eleven.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposal was met with fierce opposition by the industry and public outrage at the loss of "liberty," the so-called "nanny state" run amok. Beyond all the hype, the industry's vociferous arguments, now adopted by a trial court, are badly flawed.

In fact, the Board of Health has the power, indeed the responsibility, to regulate sugary drinks for the sake of city residents, particularly the poor.

 

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Weight-Loss Surgery’s Weird Alcoholism Risk (It’s not weird.)

Weight-Loss Surgery’s Weird Alcoholism Risk | The Fix.

Copied entire article from Weight-Loss Surgery’s Weird Alcoholism Risk | The Fix. – because – BECAUSE –

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Gastric bypass surgery is something of a medical marvel. In Roux-en-Y surgery, a small pouch is made from part of your stomach, building a new, smaller one. The pouch is then connected to the middle portion of the small intestine (the jejunum), bypassing the upper part (the duodenum). Because your new stomach is about 90% smaller than your old one, you feel full with much smaller amounts of food and take in many fewer calories. Another popular smaller-stomach operation is adjustable gastric band surgery, in which an inflatable silicone device is placed around the top of the stomach.

In all, the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery estimates that approximately 200,000 people have bariatric surgery every year. The Roux-en-Y operation generally costs between $15,000 and $30,000; the band is cheaper by about $10,000. Many private insurance policies offer no coverage for what they consider an elective procedure.

There have been previous reports of bariatric surgery patients having serious trouble with alcohol use after their surgeries. A 2012 Archives of Surgery study by the New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center looked at 100 people who had Roux-en-Y and 55 who had the adjustable band. The post-op patients were significantly more likely than the general population to use addictive substances, especially two years after the procedures. The Roux-en-Y cohort seemed particularly susceptible to alcohol use.

If food has always been your drug, and surgery abruptly denies you your fix, you turn to other drugs.

A much larger 2012 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association came to a similar conclusion. University of Pittsburgh researchers followed almost 2,000 people who had Roux-en-Y, adjustable band or another weight-loss surgery. Before their operations, 7.6% of the group abused alcohol; after the knife, 9.6% did so. And, the patients who had the Roux-en-Y surgery were twice as likely to abuse alcohol as those who had the gastric band.

Health experts have long known that obesity and depression often go hand-in-hand. Depression can lead to becoming obese, and the opposite is also true. Many obese people are depressed before they have surgery and are therefore at high risk of depression afterward. For one thing, recovery is a slow process, and health complications of the surgery are very common; 40% of patients suffer from infection and post-operative bleeding. Perhaps more important, bariatric surgery is no magic bullet, and some patients become disillusioned as they realize that in order to “solve” their serious weight problems, they have to maintain good eating and exercise habits—lifestyle changes that likely proved elusive in the past. 

Addiction experts see the problem as one of switching addictions. People become obese because they use eating as a drug. Excessive eating is a form of self-medication for painful feelings associated with depression, anxiety and deeper personality disorders. Like most drugs, food, especially carbs and sugars, trigger the brain’s reward pathways, causing a feeling of pleasure. But sustained excessive eating causes the brain to lose its capacity to produce these feel-good chemicals. That’s whenaddiction starts.

Weight-loss surgery fixes the outside of a person, but not the inside. While it can reduce the harm of obesity, it leaves the needs driving your addiction untouched. So if food has always been your drug, and stomach-minimizing surgery abruptly denies you your fix, you turn to other drugs. Alcohol, being legal, is the most available, but patients can take their pick among the panoply of addictive substances.

Hogwash, says John Morton, MD, a bariatric surgeon at the Stanford School of Medicine and member of the executive council of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Like many other surgeons who specialize in this procedure, he favors a physical rather than a psychological or switching-addiction explanation for the high risk of alcohol abuse. “[There is a] heightened sensitivity to alcohol [and it is] purely physiologic,” Morton says. Along with the liver, the stomach produces alcohol dehydrogenase, an enzyme that breaks down alcohol into other, less toxic molecules. Because gastric bypass patients have much less stomach, and therefore less of that enzyme, more alcohol enters their bloodstream.

“As a result,” Morton says, “you get drunker faster and stay drunker longer.” The same phenomenon occurs with people who have their stomachs removed because of cancer. If alcohol abuse in bariatric patients were due to psychological issues, you wouldn’t expect cancer patients to have greater alcohol sensitivity, Morton argues.

Mitch Roslin, MD, a specialist in bariatric medicine at New York’s Lenox Hill Hospital, agrees. He calls the switching-addictions theory “BS.” Drinking alcohol in your post-Roux-en-Y life is “the epitome of drinking on an empty stomach”—after all, your stomach is almost nonexistent. “Essentially,” Roslin says, “drinking alcohol after Roux-en-Y is like having an alcohol IV.”

“Essentially, drinking alcohol after Roux-en-Y is like having an alcohol IV,” Roslin says.

But why does alcohol sensitivity show up more in the second year after the surgery? Roslin suggests that the second year is when you realize that your surgery will not, by itself, keep you healthy, that you do indeed have to “fix the inside.” At that point, you might feel depressed, use alcohol to escape and comply less with your post-op instructions. 

Morton’s and Roslin’s explanations may account for why people who have had gastric bypasses can get a buzz by drinking a small amount of alcohol, but they don’t quite explain why some people who never abused booze before end up becoming post-op alcoholics. Nor do they account for another, even more serious, health risk for people who have had gastric bypasses: suicide.

Two recent studies—in Pennsylvania and Utah—reinforce the link between obesity and emotional distress by focusing on suicide rates. A study of 17,000 weight-loss surgeries performed in Pennsylvania from 1995 to 2004 showed a surprisingly high incidence of suicide. Of the 440 deaths that occurred, 16 resulted from suicide or drug overdose; by comparison, the rate for the general population is only three. And this August, a study published in The New England Journal of Medicineshowed that a group of almost 10,000 bariatric patients had a 58% higher than average risk of dying in an accident or suicide. When the bariatric patients’ suicide rate was compared to that of obese people who had not had surgery, it was close to double, 11.1 per 10,000 compared to 6.4 per 10,000.

When the high risk of suicide is coupled with the high risk of alcohol abuse, a psychological, if not a switching-addiction, explanation is almost inescapable. Patients may be aware of these risks, but the need for the surgery overrides such concerns. While prospective patients often undergo psychological evaluations before the procedure, doctors often do not follow up with the patients and patients often do not participate in post-surgery counseling. The addiction to food is typically viewed as more or less having been “treated” by the gastric bypass. The danger of developing a new addiction remains low on the list of health priorities.

There is no denying the benefits of bariatric surgery. Without it, many people struggling with obesity would be doomed to lives burdened with diabetes, heart disease, mobility problems and high risk of stroke and early death. At the same time, it’s clear that the surgery’s benefits would be increased by improved screening of patients for mental health problems—and addiction—before surgery as well as deeper, longer counseling afterward. This may mean fewer people will be eligible for the surgery—a prospect that neither doctors nor patients would embrace. At the very least, reframing how patients understand the surgery is in order: It is not a magic bullet but one in a serious of interventions that are, like it or not, lifelong.


Salt, Sugar, Fat – Michael Moss

From a Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative reporter at The New York Times comes the explosive story of the rise of the processed food industry and its link to the emerging obesity epidemic. Michael Moss reveals how companies use salt, sugar, and fat to addict us and, more important, how we can fight back.

Ricki Lake – Bargain shopping for plastic surgery – Addicted To Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery gone awry – to save a buck.  By the way – this isn't just something that happens with cheap plastics – more on THAT later – I promise.  

Fat mouse

Dieting can lead to food withdrawal and depression

I hate it when people abuse poor, poor mice.

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Dieting can lead to food withdrawal and depression

Over a six-week period, the team of experts fed one group of mice a low-fat diet, while feeding a second group of mice a high-fat diet, so that they could analyze how the different foods impacted the behavior of the animals.

Eleven percent of the calories in the low-fat diet consisted of fat, and 58% in the high-fat diet. This caused the high-fat group an 11% increase in their waist size, but they were not yet considered obese.

Fulton and her team then examined the association between rewarding mice with food and their behavioral and emotional outcomes by using a variety of methods that have been scientifically proven. The brains of the animals were also analyzed so that the experts could observe any changes that had occurred.

The researchers found that the high-fat group showed signs of anxiety, for example, they tried to avoid areas that were open. According to the authors, the animals' experiences physically changed their brains

Dopamine was one of the molecules in the brain that was observed. It allows the brain to reward people with good feelings, which in turn, motivates individuals to acquire particular behaviors.

Dopamine is a chemical which works the same in humans as it does in mice and other animals. CREB is a molecule which regulates the activation of genes that play a part in the functioning of human brains, including the ones that cause dopamine to be produced. It also contributes to the forming of memories.

Study –  Adaptations in brain reward circuitry underlie palatable food cravings and anxiety induced by high-fat diet withdrawal

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Stress triggers eating problems – WHATSTRESS?!?!??!?!?!?


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Huffington Post - 

While the holidays typically come with a great deal of celebration and joy, they can also bring up feelings of loss, regret or depression. And that's the problem: no matter the emotional response, an emotional eater will often turn back to food.

"Many people use eating as a way to cope with difficult emotions, not only bad ones, but also happiness, excitement and celebration, for example," says Alexis Cona, a clinical psychologist in private practice and a researcher at New York Obesity Research Center.

Researchers believe that many emotional eaters turn to food to numb emotions that are too painful or difficult to process. As Cona explains, it can be a mindless cycle in which an emotional eater suddenly finds himself in front of the fridge, not quite knowing how he got there.

Family time during the holidays can be a particular challenge, as many disordered eating habits begin with poor boundaries between family members, Cona says. Preparing oneself for difficult and triggering interactions might be an important aspect of getting ready for the holidays.

What's more, during this season, food is more plentiful. Many people have favorite, traditional treats that they only eat during this time of year.

"There are all sorts of memories associated with family favorites — these foods are imbued with expectations," says Ellen Shuman, president of the Binge Eating Disorder Association and an emotional and binge eating recovery coach. "That feeling of deprivation can make an emotional eater feel like they have to eat their fill in that moment. They become forbidden foods — and that brings out the rebel in many emotional eaters."

Instead, Shuman counsels patients not to have once-a-year foods. If they love a certain dish, they should make it occasionally all year long to avoid that panicked feeling of scarcity.

So what's someone with a history of stress-based eating to do as the holidays loom large?

First of all, work on mindfulness. Cona asks her patients to check in with themselves before they eat anything. Do you feel physiologically hungry? Rate your hunger on a scale. And if you aren't actually hungry, but you want to eat, think about what you might be feeling and what underlying desire is at the bottom of the impulse to eat.

Cona also recommends practicing kindness to oneself, especially in the aftermath of an overindulgence. "Trying to find acceptance can be challenging, especially in a society that condemns us for having eaten this way; especially if our bodies don't look the way society says they should. But it's important not beat ourselves up over it. If this happens, try to learn from it. Don't shame yourself."

But Shuman adds, you may not be the only person you need to forgive. Letting go of painful family history could help prevent the emotional eater's cycle. "Keep in mind that you don't have to spend the holidays with your history with Mom — just with Mom in that moment."