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I have also been late in addressing the recent announcement of pending changes in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association that regard eating behaviors. The DSM is in its fourth edition; the fifth is due in 2013.

You may know that the only substance abuse disorders regarding food in the DSM IV are anorexia and bulimia. There is another category, ED-NOS, which stands for eating disorders not otherwise specified, but they are mostly A/B-related, with exceptions.

Welcome, Michelle

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I'm a little late to the party, but wanted to acknowledge Michelle Obama's joining the fight against childhood obesity, which she did last week. Her ability to focus attention on an issue is unique, and her focus on obesity is welcome. (I don't limit my own focus by age, but I don't mind if someone else does.)

What we can do, politically

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Few sweeping statements can be applied broadly, but here's one I'm willing to stand by: The first action any problem eater should consider is to take responsbility for what he or she eats, and look for support and help to change.That's what I did, albeit haltingly and irascibly, and I'm maintaining a 150-pound-plus weight loss for almost 20 years.

View from the Old North Bridge: the Concord climate rally

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With 5,600 events spread over 180 countries, there has been no end to the reports on what transpired at the climate-change rallies instigated by on Saturday . I've seen a half dozen just in my in-box, and many more filled my Facebook windows before my account crapped out (710 friends gone, just like that!).

Opportunity for the junk food industry

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Richard Blumenthal, the attorney general of Connecticut, has been around a very long time — he was my AG for awhile, and I moved out of the state 16 years ago. He's got a very good record of monitoring corporations and bringing them before the bar, perhaps most prominently when he helped bring suit against the tobacco industry for its deceptive advertising to children.

NRDC president at MIT on Wednesday

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Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, speaks at an MIT Energy Initiative event on Wednesday, Oct. 7, at 4:15. 

The topic will be Copenhagen, but she'll also talk about the prospect for climate-change legislation in Congress. For many of us, the question has become, is the bill good enough. Or rather, is "any" bill worth supporting, at the potential expense of getting nothing at all. I have read on the topic, but yet have a satisfying answer, and hope she'll be able to help on that question.

What you see, when you just look

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In writing a new first chapter for my book, I've flirted with the idea that we are under some form of mass hypnosis. I don't want to assert that in any clinical way, 'cause I wouldn't know enough to make a good argument, and so far, I haven't found a way to express it credibily enough for inclusion.


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