It isn't officially out until Sunday, but already, 5 people have sent me pointers to The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food, which leads the New York Times Magazine this Sunday. I'll have comments about the story in a day or two, but I had just enough time today to share this reader comment from Expat in Germany:
An aphorism states that one definition of insanity is endlessly repeating a behavior and expecting the outcome, this time, to change.
I am about to prove, again, that I remain, by that definition, completely bonkers.
[I originally published this post a year (and three days) ago, but I'm bumping it to the top because it fits the thread of discussion kindled by Michele Simon's Eat Drink Politics report of last week.]
Based on my early experience with them, and on what I've heard from others of their experiences, I have long held opprobrium for registered dietitians. But it has recently bubbled over again.
Though not every addict experiences the same lack of control for every addictive substance or behavior, an addict is an addict.
This is borne out by the phenomenon of switching addictions, whose classic example is, for me, old AA meetings: They were chokingly thick with cigarette smoke and had officers assigned to ensure the meetings would be adequately supplied with coffee (with or without sugar and cream) and donuts.
And, surely you know someone who, say, quit smoking and gained 40 pounds.
I've been remiss in reporting a key development in the fight for public recognition of food addiction: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, whose statute allows it to say what is a mental illness and what isn't, has indeed included binge-eating disorder in its fifth edition.
In my typically reasoned and reasonable fashion, I argued yesterday that we should choose not to schedule bake sales in schools to raise money for programs. I conceded that such sales are a hometown institution that embraces fond memory and other positive content.
As an advocate on issues including obesity, nutrition, and school food, I’ve had an opinion on bake sales, and especially school bake sales, for some time. But until about a week ago, they were something that people did, as opposed to something that people did in my son’s school.
A couple of decades in recovery from food addiction has taught me that it's an illness best self-diagnosed, because — well, to speak for my own experience, until I conceded that I had it, I sure wasn't going to do anything about it.
Having said that, I think that Clifford the Big Red Dog may have issues.
Regular visitors will know that I think that write off the cost of advertising their crap on their taxes is absurd, and that all marketers are indeed liars, as Seth Godin coined it.
I've said some of this before, but a BBC health report (Obesity surgery "seen as quick fix") says it too, affording an opportunity to extend my remarks: Bariatric surgery might be the right choice for some obese people, but I have a very hard time regarding it as a complete solution for the people who qualify to receive it.
I didn't get to be 365 pounds with "only" an eating problem, and the size of my stomach was not a primary cause. So how could surgery that only would have made my stomach smaller resolve all?