Med. school obesity conference this fall

I’ve been spreading the word about this event to specific friends on social media, but finally clued in that I should be mentioning it here, too.

The first national conference on food addiction hosted by a medical school is coming up in October. “The Missing Piece in Response to the Obesity Epidemic: Diagnosing and Treating Food Addiction” will take place on Oct. 22 at UMass Medical School in Worcester, Mass. My friend Phil Werdell will be giving one of the keynotes, and I’ll be moderating two panels.

I take this event as proof of food addiction's advancing legitimacy, which I've been working toward for at least six years. (Which is not to say I can take a scintilla of credit for this conference. I can't and don't, and am happy to be invited to participate.) I attended a private obesity summit at Bainbridge Island, Wash., that one could see as a precursor to this; it was attended by researchers, clinicians, academicians, and others — some of the same folks are attending this event. But where that was cloistered, this is at a medical school.

The importance of this advance is that understanding food addiction can't help those who don't know it exists, or who believe it doesn't. Who seeks treatment for something they don't know is there?



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