At the end of April I attended the Obesity and Food Addiction Summit, held just outside of Seattle, Washington. One of the central mandates of the summit was to: "Present the latest scientific research related to food addiction in an effort to raise awareness about the potential for sugar, fat and refined foods to be as addictive as alcohol and tobacco, thus confirming their influence on the obesity epidemic and increasing health problems in our country."
Food addiction? Sugar as addictive as alcohol and tobacco?
These concepts may sound strange to you, but many of us who were at this conference have been convinced for years, and that's why it was so encouraging to be there together. There were scientific researchers, therapists, clinicians, food addicts, dieticians and educators, each with our own perspective to share; it was fascinating.
A highlight of the conference was hearing Jack LaLanne. Do you remember or know of him? Jack is a fitness and nutrition expert who has campaigned tirelessly to educate the world about the dangers of sugar and refined foods since the 1950's. He is now 94 years young, and received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Summit. One of my favorite parts of Jack's story is how his wife Elaine has been by his side. Soon after they met, Jack challenged Elaine to take responsibility for her health and make better choices about exercise and food.
Eating is a family activity. And eating disorders are tightly intertwined with family life. Family members struggle too when someone in the family has an eating disorder. That's why at the White Picket Fence Counseling Center we are reaching out to the family members of people with eating disorders.
With Mother's Day in May and Father's Day in June, this is the perfect time to consider your family relationships and heal from the impact of the eating disorder. For more details about our next information and support workshop for families, please email WtPicketFence@aol.com.