Archive for the ‘“Thin From Within”’ Category

Sugar News, Sugar Blues

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

I reprint here my latest Thin From Within blog from Psychology Today:

Those of us concerned with diet, health, weight, eating disorders, and addiction follow what I call “Sugar News” with great interest.   Starting, perhaps, in 2011, with the New York Times story “Is Sugar Toxic?”, followed by a 60-Minutes segment with the same name, the public has had  increasing exposure to what Overeaters Anonymous has known for years:  some people just can’t stop.   We’ve learned that sugar lights up addicts’ brains as clearly as drugs do.  Further, we’ve learned that it may be sugar, and not fat, fueling diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and other diseases on the rise.

National Geographic now steps forward as the latest major magazine headlining Sugar News.   “Sugar Love:  A Not So Sweet Story”, by Rich Cohen, recounts our species’ historical love affair, and its significant struggles, with the substance that was once used sparingly, as a rare spice.  (We now consume, on average, 78 lbs. per person, per year—some spice!)    Cohen not only reviews sugar’s health tolls but provides deep perspective on why and how it spurs such rampant problems.

Other recent news, however, jars in contrast.   For the latest review of our nation’s eating trends, well summarized by the New York TimesJane Brody last week, shows little change in our sweet consumption.  That 78 lbs. per person remains stable, even if it is down somewhat from its all-time high.  It’s still way too high, about 22 teaspoons per day.    “….Cut back, many of the ill effects disappear…..”, one prominent medical researcher admonishes.  But it seems the increasingly frequent headlines—calling sugar a toxin, a poison, a drug—haven’t nudged our behavior all that much, at least not yet.

Realistically speaking, however, mass changes can take a long time.  It might take decades for these relatively recent findings to affect individual habits.  It might in fact require changes in public health policy (think here of tobacco research).   In the shorter run, though, Sugar News most certainly bolsters a group that sometimes does, and sometimes does not, overlap with the obesity stats:  the binge eaters, or self-identified food addicts.   Many in these groups benefit immediately from Sugar News.   Indeed, new and affirming paths for healing open as a result. (more…)


“Food is a Wonderful Place to Hide”

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

I reprint here the most recent post from my Psychology TodayThin From Within” blog:

In a true sign of our times, binge eaters have shown up significantly in the pages of several  novels I’ve read this year.  In one fine example, The Middlesteins, by Jami Attenberg, the powerful, overeating protagonist affects the lives of family and friends in far-reaching ways.    In the end, one character comprehends how “….food is a wonderful place to hide.”

For many, starting in childhood or beyond, food becomes a source of solace and a companion–not only in hard times, but at the end of even normally stressful days.   It’s something to look forward to, something that’s reliably there.  This powerful emotional bond may be fully conscious, or not.  When it exists, as it does for many who overeat, it’s no wonder that the diet of the moment won’t work, or that new regimes don’t last.  In the lists of which foods to eat and avoid, dealing with the loss of this sanctuary gets missed, and the cycle of dieting and overeating resumes. (more…)


Hot Off the Press: Sane Eating News

Friday, May 10th, 2013

 My recent post at Psychology Today looks at helpful new releases–books, articles, columns–for those aiming to eat more sanely.  If weight loss or food addiction concerns you, check these out:



Dieters! One Size Doesn’t Fit All on Psychology Today

Friday, October 19th, 2012

“Dieters! One Size Doesn’t Fit All”, a collection of related essays, appears at Psychology Today: To read Dr. Katz’ contribution, “If One Size Doesn’t Fit All….What Fits You?”, click on:

Sane eating assumes that “one size doesn’t fit all”, and the work of Eat Sanely has long focused on helping people find what does “fit”. We’re happy to participate in this forum!



Friday, June 11th, 2010

 This week I’m happy to introduce you to a new blog I’ve launched at Psychology Today.  Called “Thin From Within”, it’s subtitled “how inner conflict keeps people stuck”:
The Eat Sanely blog will continue to comment on relevant news, offer practical advice and strategies, and from time to time explore the emotional elements of eating.  The new blog, on the other hand, will focus mainly on the inner emotional aspects of how we eat.   This includes, too, how we manage to change or improve how we eat.

Most of us know how difficult it is to lose weight, to maintain a healthy weight and a healthy relationship with food.  Regular readers know that I don’t automatically and always suspect emotional underpinnings to weight struggles.  The foods overwhelming our senses today, loaded with sugar and salt and fat, help create these problems.  So does the more sedentary lifestyle typical of our time, and the high stress levels many of us experience.   However:  it happens that even after we’ve learned what works, and even after we’ve acquired the right tools, we can find ourselves unable to follow through. 

 When that’s the case, it makes sense to check within.  What I call “inner obstacles” in the Eat Sanely course can keep us from caring for ourselves as we wish.    We know that stress and anxiety can make it difficult to eat well.  Emotions that operate outside of our awareness—guilt is often such a culprit—can sabotage our efforts as well.   And likewise, becoming conscious of, and dealing directly with, our emotions can free us.

So, I hope that “Thin From Within” will spark awareness, enable reflection, and support that freedom.   I invite you to visit the site and comment where you wish!