Journalist and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” co-host, Mika Brzezinski is releasing a new book this week about her struggle with food addiction. The book is titled “Obsessed: America’s Food Addiction and my Own.”
Brzezinski appeared on Today this morning to discuss the book and defend any critics who might think because of her trim figure that she has no place to write on the topic of food addiction. However, the author contends her addiction to food looks just like anyone else’s, obese or not. “This book is all about the need to nurture a conversation and start turning back the tide of the obesity epidemic,” she said.
Though her weight wouldn’t reflect it, Brzezinski likens her food addiction to an alcohol or drug addiction, because she feels powerless over it. Even while writing the book Brzezinski admits she “fell off the wagon,” several times, one night eating an entire jar of nutella after what she calls a binging episode induced by the insomnia medication, Ambien. Read Full Post >
Dr. Drew Pinsky straddles the line between medical expert and media personality, often combining the two. After graduating from Amherst College, Pinsky got involved with radio during medical school at the University of Southern California. That’s when he started guest starring on his friend’s radio call-in show Loveline. His popularity soared as he spoke with frankness aboutsexuality and relationships, and soon he became a regular host. The show went national in 1995, airing live five nights a week, and the following year MTV picked it up for a television version hosted by Pinsky and Adam Carolla, running for four years. Loveline has been taking calls since 1983 and can still be heard Sunday through Thursday from ten to midnight.
Pinsky has appeared on numerous television shows as a guest, and has also hosted several of his own series. Strictly Sex with Dr. Drew aired on Discovery Health Channel in 2005, followed by the currently-airing Strictly with Dr. Drew. Strictly focuses on general medical topics. His show Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew began in 2008 and has proved to be very popular.. He also appears on HLN (formerly CNN Headline News) for the nightly show Dr. Drew, and on the CW’s daytime talk series Dr. Drew’s Lifechangers. Read Full Post >
Not sure they needed to do brain scans to prove that seeing images of sugary treats makes us want them. Never-the-less the scientists did and they showed just how much we love our desserts and what power they hold over us.
According to Linda Carroll at MSNBC.com, the researchers had women look at images of sugary treats like cookies, cupcakes, and cake while being scanned. The brain scans showed that the regions of the brain that deal with hunger and reward lit up. This study had very similar findings as a previous study involving cocaine addicts. When the addicts were shown images of drug needles the same portion of the brain lit up. Wow, sugar and cocaine pack some serious power in our bodies. All of these findings were discussed at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society. Read Full Post >
When it comes to being healthy, there are a lot of factors involved. Diet and fitness are just two of the key pieces that make up a healthy lifestyle, with finding a healthy balance between enjoying life and practicing healthy habits making up the third.
For some, that last, seemingly simple ingredient can be the most difficult to achieve as temptation to go overboard in extreme dieting and fitness routines can become too much to overpower, leaving some addicted to exercise or struggling with disordered eating.
Last year we found, and republished, an interesting graphic that pondered a curious question -which is worse, soda or marijuana? A side-by-side comparison of the two pits the processed against the natural, the legal versus the illegal. While we could debate the pros and cons of each all day long, to the pleasure center of the brain, they are one in the same.
A fascinating piece aired on CBS’ 60 Minutes tonight with the foremost researcher on addiction, Dr. Nora Volkow, head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. In 2007, she was named by Time Magazine as one “of the 100 men and women whose power, talent or moral example is transforming the world.” Tonight’s Hooked: Why Bad Habits are Hard to Break explained the chemistry behind addiction and showed that whether it’s a hamburger or heroine, soda or marijuana, our brain sees them exactly the same – as triggers for a rush of dopamine.
Morley Safer reported and described Dr. Volkow as the woman who has “revolutionized how science and medicine view addiction: as a disease, not a character defect.” She told him that the “Just Say No” campaign is just “magic of thinking.”
“If it were that easy…there’d be no obesity,” or other physical signs of addiction. In other words, addiction stems from deep within the pleasure center of our brains, and all the willpower, support, and motivation in the world can’t always turn it off.