For all the time that humans have been afoot, we have been adjusting to “the environment,” very often on the fly, very often in the face of peril. So it’s risible that a study just released by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery asked respondents to opine on the cause of obesity: personal choice or environment and genetics.
Today’s guest is a hard-working visionary in the field of food-addiction recognition and treatment. He is the co-founder of Acorn Food Dependency Recovery Services, the driving force behind the food addiction institute, and a key figure behind the only med school-sponsored conference on food addiction anywhere, which will be in its third year this fall. This is an edited version of a video interview that you can watch here.
Name Phil Werdell
Born, when and where? Oak Park. Illinois on April 2, 1941
Were there any unusual circumstances regarding your birth? ”There was a rumor, never completely confirmed, that I actually was born on April Fool’s Day, but it was very late and my mother got them to say it was April 2nd.”
April Fool!! Where do you live now? ”I live in Sarasota, Florida.”
Family circumstance ”Well, I am in my second marriage. In my first marriage I had two step-children, Sheila and Maureen, who are in their 50s. My adult children are absolutely delightful on the West Coast and I am newly married to Mary Foushi. We began as recovery buddies and then founded Acorn together and then found out, by golly, we were in a relationship and we have been for about 20 years, but only married for two.”
What did you want to be when you grow up? ”Until I went to college, I wanted to be Robert McNamara. He was a brainy president of a motor company and then a brainy defense secretary. That he later was a major influence in taking us into the Vietnam War, that embarrasses me.”
Joan Ifland and I got together virtually last month for an informative conversation, and I posted the unedited video version in early August. This is the edited-text version; Joan got to see and approve the edits.
Joan and I met at least 10 years ago at a conference she organized in Houston for food addiction professionals. One of Joan’s first claims to fame is being the lead author of the first academically published description of food addiction in humans. She later founded Victory Meals, which makes and distributes healthy, unprocessed food meals and other products and she operates a several-thousand-member private group on Facebook helping those who struggle with food addiction.
Born when and where? "Beaver Falls, Pa., Oct. 25, 1951."
Where do you live now? "Cincinnati, Ohio."
Family circumstance "My oldest daughter is expecting a son in December, so we just have her in our prayers and thoughts, and I have a younger daughter. My older daughter, Claire, works for Kindle in London and my younger daughter, Camille, is a doctor working in Seattle and I am divorced."
An early influence on you outside your immediate family. "Kay Sheppard (her website | her 10 Words or Less interview). Kay Sheppard is my hero."
Saya little bit more about that, please. "Well, she saved my life. In 1996 I picked up her book. I eliminated sugars and flours from my food plan. I joined a support group and my life changed radically. And that's how I got into this field."
What did you want to be when you grow up? "A vet."
How long did that last? "Not very long. By the time I was actually in school I was taking economics, political science. I took my MBA and I wanted to be like my dad. He was a corporate scientist and I wanted to be like him."
How can someone be addicted to food? Don’t you need food to survive? "There are two kinds of food, just like there are two kinds of beverages, alcoholic, non-alcoholic, and then in the food realm, addictive, non-addictive."
Joan Ifland is a pioneer in the field of food-addiction recognition, and in using Facebook to help food addicts recover. We talked about several topics, most relating to food addicts and food addiction.
[This interview was originally posted about a week ago, but due to faults of A Small Orange (my now-fired webhost) I'm reposting.]
Dorothy Mullen, founder of the Suppers Programs in New Jersey, is a pioneer in deploying community to help those who want to live more vibrantly via lifestyle changes that include food choices. She's also passionate, dedicated to helping, and pleasure to talk to.
[This is a repost of an article that was lost, due to the failure of my now-fired web host, A Small Orange.]
Kristina LaRue, RD, CSSD, LDN is a sports dietitian in Orlando, and thanks to her, we have another opportunity to discuss food addiction. Despite all those letters after her name, food addiction has been been misunderstood, again.
We can start here..
Part of a continuing series related to ideas in my book, “Sustainable You/8 First Steps to Lasting Change in Business and in Life.”
Tell me if you’d agree: Many people who profess a desire to change really want to keep on doing what’s comfortable but have their ill effects removed.
Pitching, helping to populate, and then participating in a Commonwealth Club of California forum on food addiction four years ago was a signal experience.
The return of the entire panel last week for "Food Addiction 2.0," an update, was better than anything I remembered from before.
My fellow panelists are personable, incredibly accomplished, and, to me, unnaturally well versed, citing not only studies by their provenance. The moderator, Patty James, was very well prepared. And the audience asked knowledgable questions. I was happy with my contributions as well.
I’ve been very tardy in writing about this development, but today was the day, I guess.
Longtime readers will know that I pledged some time ago not to link to the Center for Consumer Freedom, a liar-ly named Rick Berman site. When I did insert a link, it was to this explanation of why I wouldn’t link to it.