MHCCF Meeting - The Skinny on Food Addiction

  • Friday, June 17, 2016
  • 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
  • All Saints Church, 338 E Lyman Ave, Winter Park, FL


8:30-9 a.m. - Networking and Registration

9 a.m. - Announcements and Introductions

9:30 - 10:30 a.m. - Speaker


SPEAKER:  Kevin Wandler, M.D. 

                        Chief Medical Officer,

                        Advanced Recovery Systems

TOPIC: The Skinny on Food Addiction



After this presentation the attendee will:

  1. Understand the similarities and differences between ED and SUD.
  2. Improve their assessment skills in uncovering ED.
  3. Be aware of the appropriate treatment for dually-diagnosed patients.

Comorbidity between alcohol and drug use disorders (SUD) with eating disorders (ED) is extremely high - up to 50% of patients with one condition also struggle with the other. Like SUD, ED begin with experimentation, often using dieting or diet pills as a “gateway” to other, more destructive behaviors. Both lead to compromised nutrition and medical status, are resistant to treatment, have a chronic relapsing course, and often have tragic outcomes. They are both highly comorbid with depression, anxiety, and other psychiatric conditions. Opinions are varied and facts are few on whether we should be treating eating disorders as addictions like any other, as addictions unlike the others, or not as addictions at all.

The heart of the matter revolves around whether someone can be addicted to a substance needed for life, in this case food. Clearly some foods have different effects on different “users,” as evidenced by food allergies, sensitivities, and even food cravings. Individuals with anorexia appear to become “addicted” to a feeling of starvation or emptiness, while those with bulimia seem “addicted” to vomiting or laxative abuse. Do some people have a genetic pre-disposition to become “hooked” on certain foods or behaviors? Are highly processed foods more “addicting” than natural foods?

This workshop will provide attendees with this information in order to better serve patients with SUD and ED.

Kevin Wandler, MD, is the Associate Chief Medical Officer of Advanced Recovery Systems. He is Board Certified in General Psychiatry with added Qualifications in Addiction Psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.  He is certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine.  He is the President of the Board of Directors of iaedp (2015-16) --The International Academy of Eating Disorder Professionals. He is a Fellow and Certified Eating Disordered Specialist, certified by iaedp.  Dr Wandler has been working in the Substance Abuse field for over 30 years and started his Eating Disorder career in 1995.  Dr Wandler was an Associate Professor at the University of Florida from 2011-2013.  He was the founding Medical Director of The Recovery Village which is part of Advanced Recovery Systems.  Dr. Wandler is a National and International speaker.

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