Obesely Speaking

The brain and obesity

Delayed Gratification: A Battle That Must Be Won

Dispelling the myth of poor self-contol, and offering a neuroscience perspective as to why and how delayed gratification is an issue for some, especially compulsive eaters. More importantly, some simple suggestions on how to manage it. Read More

They know the solution just won't use it.

ADHD drugs are known to boost dopamine but it is not prescribed for compulsive eating. Why because it has a bad reputation.

It's fairly difficult for people with ADHD to get stimulants...

I read a study on Medpage Today recently linking ADHD medication and cessation of binge eating. Not TOO surprising, considering the link between ADHD and obesity. However, it's not as clear cut as it looks. There are lots of horror stories about people abusing and becoming addicted to stimulants. To play devil's advocate, would it really be the best idea to give people that abuse food another addictive substance to use instead? Unless I see a lot of studies backing the fact that ritalin, adderall, etc are effective and safe to use for this particular purpose, I think I'd be wary of prescribing them for anything but ADHD if I was a medical professional.

lot of issues

I can certainly understand why one might be inclined to try that strategy, but share many of the same concerns as you. It is a difficult position for clinicians. They do have a the luxury of spending a lot of time with their patients to be able to fully observe all of the necessary concerns. Generally, my life, and my professional life has taught me that when you can make your endogenous mechanisms provide you with your chemical needs... that is the way to go, and I think that is how we should bias our research and clinical approach. Our focus should be about how to be healthy, not how to be sick.

Your comment

Thank you so much for your comment, I appreciate your time. I am not certain as to why this exists, I am not a pharmacologist I do know, from discussions with many friends who are clinical psychiatrists that you have to be extremely judicious in the administration of these medications. I'll ask some of my colleagues what they think. Until then remain fabulous and phenomenal! ----bg

I'm keeping a list of techniques for improving self control . . .

. . . from authoritative sources - http://bit.ly/QFRDEd.

You may have violated a TOS with PT

I am not certain what PT policy is towards providing links to external sources that want to charge money for their services. I am glad that it worked for you but in the future, please do not post ;inks here to external pay sites. I am sure your intentions were good, thank you for those. Have a nice day.

It's not a pay source.

Have a nice day.

Perhaps we view pay sites differently

The first page has financial logos for "donations" (which are not tax deductible) and then some of the other pages lead you to products that eventually are for sale. If you found help there, then perhaps someone else will. I am all for help,. Personally, I am not comfortable with the website's approach, and I would respectfully ask you to refrain posting links to external sights that ask people for money but I'm not the "link police", so make such posts if you feel you must, Onward, Again, have a wonderful day.

So you wouldn't approve of a link to . . .

. . . the New York Times, which solicits subscriptions and has ads?
Or Dr. Andrew Weil's site, which also solicits? Or Science Daily? Or Discover Magazine,


Feels like policing to me.

The interesting thing is that you didn't bother to check the content of the page. We're both trying to help people take more control of their lives, but I'm not worthy?


I am sorry it feels like policing to you. But policing to me would have been to delete your link. I am entitled to my opinion. I never said any one was not worthy. I said I was uncomfortable with the site. I am entitled to feel that way. I did not forbid you from making posts. NOR did I say the posts were not helpful. I just asked you to refrain, but ALSO said if you must continue to post such links, then go ahead. I said that because the issue here is about helping people. Please do not try and make this about me and you. There is enough success and enough need in this world for both of us. Hopefully, we are done with this and can move on. Have a pleasant day.

Spikes in blood sugar misstatement?

In the article you state "Studies show that increasing blood glucose levels led to an increase in the value placed on future rewards; conversely, drinking a beverage without sugar led to an increase in the value placed on current rewards. The take home message there: spikes in blood sugar probably promote impulsivity."

Wouldn't drinking the sugared beverage cause a spike in blood sugar? Thus it seems that the experiment confirms the opposite of your take-home: spikes in blood sugar decrease impulsivity whereas low blood sugar promotes impulsivity.

I recall an additional piece of evidence that your take-home is misstated. A classic quartet for self-regulation failure (HALT - hungry, angry, lonely, tired) includes hungry - a state more likely associated with low blood sugar than with high.

duly noted

However, the studies I read said precisely what I stated. I think the confusion may lie in that when I am describing spike I mean the entire process, from it's lowest point to its highest, not just the highest. But I can see how that can be confusing. Thank you for pointing that out. And the 10-step (HALT) is not conflictive with that. When blood sugars are low is when people are most likely to be impulsive. So I am not exactly sure what your point was there, but please clarify, in case I am missing something. Thank you again, so much for commenting.

Not sure what the deal is...

Not sure what the deal is with these negative responses, but I found this post really helpful, as usual Billi. I've been clean from substance abuse for 23 years, and recently have started to look at my compulsive overeating. Most of what I learned in my recovery from chemical dependency applies to dealing with my eating behaviors; however, I have seriously struggled with this idea. I still judge myself, very harshly, for my eating habits and patterns and still view them as self-control issues, even though I know all about addiction and the brain chemistry involved in additions. For some reason, I still beat myself up for being weak. Being able to come here weekly and read your posts talking openly about the brain science as well as the affects of food on the body, really helps to keep me focused on the fact that I'm not dealing with bad behaviors and I don't need to just start acting right. I need to read the directions and learn how to use my lawnmower. That annanlogy was brilliant and I am totally stealing it!

Thank you for another educational and freeing post, keep them up.

Thank you so much

As you might imagine, your words are quite comforting and nice to hear. As for the other comments you cannot be everything to everybody. acerbic remarks are not stranger to us... but let's look beyond that....and look at their presumed intent. I would like to believe the intent was to provide additional information. If I do make a mistake, or there are some semantic concerns it is good to identify them ad clear them up. This is coming from my heart not my ego. People make mistakes, and If I do, tell me and I'll fix it. And life goes on.

I am so glad that you find comfort here. I find comfort coming here to explore neuroscience and my personal experience with like minded people, J feel safe here, Keep coming back, and thanks again for the nice and right-on-time words. Remain Fabulous and Phenomenal, --bg

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Billi Gordon, Ph.D., is  Co-Investigator in the  Ingestive Behaviors & Obesity Program, Center for the Neurobiology of Stress, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.


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