Dr. Oz, Food Addiction Segment

     My last blog talked about how the pop culture media portrays eating disorders, and this blog will be about what the experts in the media say. What sparked this post was yesterday’s segment on Dr. Oz about food addictions (watch the Dr. OZ food addiction segment here).  The link will take you to part 3 of this segment because it’s what I’ll talk about most in this post, but part 1 and 2 are also posted there.

    The segment started rather well in my opinion, explaining that food can be as addictive as drugs, suggesting that it has roots in the brain, and giving a glimpse into the life of 3 women who binge eat.  Then, in part 3, it moved into the suggested solution to the problem, given by a psychologist and former binge eater.  She suggested deciphering the emotions behind the binges/overeating episodes, uncovering what triggers the binges/overeating episodes, and learning to cope with feelings in healthy non-eating ways.  She used the acronym of FLAB to discuss what she believes drives episodes of binge eating/overeating. 

F- Frustration
L – Loneliness
A – Anger
B – Boredom

     Dr. Oz has a FLAB card on his website, for food addicts to print out and keep in their purse or wallet.  His website states,The next time you’re on the edge, reach for this card. It will remind you of the emotions that can trigger your addiction and help you to deal with them in a healthy way.” 

     If you have been following my blog or have read my book Brain over Binge, you know that I don’t think the ideas above are helpful to many, many binge eaters.  I’m not going to belabor the reasons why I don’t think they are helpful, because that is not the purpose of this post. This post is only offered to point out what the experts in the mainstream media suggest binge eating is all about (emotions) and what they believe to be the solution (coping with those emotions).  These ideas are very pervasive and influential, but sadly, not very effective.

2 thoughts on “Dr. Oz, Food Addiction Segment

  1. This is why I’m so grateful you wrote this book. I can guarantee you that looking at that card would not have stopped me from eating when I wanted to binge. It’s sad to think about how many people, desperate to get away from this, may be stuck in the vicious cycle, all while looking at their cards and trying to cope with some underlying emotion. Your book should be required-reading! haha 🙂

    1. It wouldn’t have done a thing for me either. Just last week I saw a report on the local news about binge eating, and the reporter defined binge eating disorder as “frequently eating large amounts of food in order to cope with emotions” (as if the ‘coping with emotions’ part was hard fact).

      If tactics like the FLAB card work for someone, then that’s great; but I agree with you that it’s sad to think there are so many people out there who buy into this theory and then aren’t helped by it.

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