I used to be a good blogger. I’d seek out original content, to go with the echo-chamber stuff (“Well, I also think that so-and-so is wrong when she says…”), and I’d be consistent. Anymore, not as much.
When I heard about the first food-addiction conference sponsored by a medical institution, it seemed so far off, but finally related activities open today.
This goes back a bit, but it has good content, and I'll bet you haven't seen it. Running time is less than 8 minutes.
I gave this speech a couple of years ago, back before I was fully committed to my pursuit of professional speaking, which explains how I could show up before a crowd in a T-shirt. But I like the content, and don't anticipate giving the speech again, so I share it despite its flaws.
I left the following comment at the online home of an aspiring actress and other things living in New York City, who penned an uninformed diatribe against food addiction:
I mean this in the sweetest, most constructive way: You are ignorant of very real conditions. Really, no flaming, no caps.
"I can't imagine..." you say, and I accept that — you haven't been able to imagine this thing that is real. OK, I hear you, your imagination won't conjure the idea.
Welcome to another installment of “10 Words or Less,” in which I ask interesting people for brief answers to brief questions. Today’s participant is one of the world’s most accomplished researchers in food and addiction. Remember, please: No counting! “10 words” is about attitude, not addition, and besides, let’s see you do it.
Name Nicole Avena, Ph.D.
Family status Lives in New Jersey, married, one child
Occupation Assistant Professor at University of Florida, Department of Psychiatry, and Visiting Research Associate at Princeton University, studying neuroscience, appetite, and addiction
Born when, where Point Pleasant, N.J., Oct 5, 1978
A formative event from your childhood “I was in a spelling competition in elementary school and that engendered a fondness for academic reward.”
Where’d you place? “I came in 2d.”
First paying job“Lifeguard at a yacht club.”
Something you took from that job “Aside from a nice tan each summer, I had the chance to teach several children to swim, and that taught me patience and how to negotiate.”
Someone outside your family who influenced you particularly “Bart Hoebel, who was a professor at Princeton and one of my mentors.”
Over at medicaldaily.com, the writer Evan Winchester shows severe gaps in his understanding of the food experience of tens of millions of Americans in his April 22 piece, "Is Food Addiction a Real Eating Disorder?"
I was moved by his piece to offer three points of rebuttal, which I then decided to expand on and share beyond just the readers of his post. I hope the context will be sufficient...
During my recent inquiries into Health At Every Size, one motivation I’ve heard from proponents is that “people should be able to listen to their bodies.” And again I have to say, I just don't get, or struggle to accept.
Reason 1: To me, this is akin to saying that I’m not going to wear glasses, because “I should be able to trust my eyes.”
As I've described before, registered dietitians scoff at the idea of food addiction almost monolithically, a circumstance I got to observe again last weekend at the Binge Eating Disorder Association national conference in Bethesda, Md.