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- FrustrationL – LonelinessA – AngerB – 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.