New Publication by David Wiss in the High Impact Public Health Nutrition Journal
Objective: While organizational change in substance use disorder treatment has been extensively studied, there is no research describing facility-wide changes related to nutrition interventions. This study evaluates staff-perceived barriers to change before and after a wellness initiative.
Design: A pre-intervention questionnaire was administered to participating staff prior to facility-wide changes (n=40). The questions were designed to assess barriers across five domains: 1) provision of nutrition-related treatment; 2) implementation of nutrition education; 3) screening, detecting, monitoring (nutrition behaviors); 4) facility-wide collaboration; and 5) menu changes and client satisfaction. A 5-point Likert-scale was used to indicate the extent to which staff anticipate difficulty or ease in implementing facility-wide nutrition changes, perceived as organizational barriers. Follow-up questionnaires were identical to the pretest except that it examined barriers experienced, rather than anticipated (n=50).
Setting: A multisite substance use disorder treatment center in Northern California which began implementing nutrition programming changes in order to improve care.
Participants: Staff members who consented to participate.
Results: From pre to post, we observed significant decreases in perceived barriers related to the provision of nutrition-related treatment (p=0.019), facility-wide collaboration (p=0.036), menu changes and client satisfaction (p=0.024). Implementation of nutrition education and the domain of screening, detecting, monitoring did not reach statistical significance.
Conclusion: Our results show that staff training, food service changes, the use of targeted curriculum for nutrition groups, and the encouragement of discussing self-care in individual counseling sessions, can lead to positive shifts about nutrition-related organizational change among staff.Read more
New Publication from the High Impact Nutrients Journal Describing the Discernment Process Between Food Addiction and Dietary Restraint
Converging evidence from both animal and human studies have implicated hedonic eating as a driver of both binge eating and obesity. The construct of food addiction has been used to capture pathological eating across clinical and non-clinical populations.
There is an ongoing debate regarding the value of a food addiction “diagnosis” among those with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa binge/purge-type, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. Much of the food addiction research in eating disorder populations has failed to account for dietary restraint, which can increase addiction-like eating behaviors and may even lead to false positives.
Some have argued that the concept of food addiction does more harm than good by encouraging restrictive approaches to eating. Others have shown that a better understanding of the food addiction model can reduce stigma associated with obesity. What is lacking in the literature is a description of a more comprehensive approach to the assessment of food addiction. This should include consideration of dietary restraint, and the presence of symptoms of other psychiatric disorders (substance use, posttraumatic stress, depressive, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity) to guide treatments including nutrition interventions.
The purpose of this review is to help clinicians identify the symptoms of food addiction (true positives, or “the signal”) from the more classic eating pathology (true negatives, or “restraint”) that can potentially elevate food addiction scores (false positives, or “the noise”). Three clinical vignettes are presented, designed to aid with the assessment process, case conceptualization, and treatment strategies. The review summarizes logical steps that clinicians can take to contextualize elevated food addiction scores, even when the use of validated research instruments is not practical.Read more
Nutrition in Recovery Group Curriculum is now Available!
In 2012, I ran my first weekly nutrition group at a residential drug and alcohol treatment center in Los Angeles where I taught people about the link between nutrition and behavioral health. We did not have a TV, so I put together various handouts as reading material for group discussions, based on information that I learned through my own treatment in 2005 & 2006. I’ll never forget the excitement of my first year running Nutrition in Recovery groups and building out the curriculum, and becoming a specialist working with this unique population. The experience was magical – I’ve enjoyed being contacted over the years and people sharing memories of that first nutrition group; someone recently told me that my trip with them to the grocery store while they were in treatment changed their life, and they are now sober working as a chef. This is in part due to the Nutrition in Recovery curriculum.
Nutrition in Recovery took off quickly and by 2013, I was running groups at several different treatment centers, conducting individual counseling and occasionally leading hands-on nutrition workshops. I took on dietetic interns and built out a legendary team of dietitians. We have run groups both locally in Southern California as well as internationally and have hosted various forms of staff training. To date we have contracted with over 30 treatment centers, including facilities that treat eating disorders as well as general mental health. During these years, I have refined the Nutrition in Recovery curriculum based on feedback from attendees as well as the facilitators, and of course the rapidly changing nutrition landscape.
I have always tried to be available to help, but have never shared any curriculum, until now. The legendary Nutrition in Recovery curriculum is available to you. The content is designed to be delivered by a registered dietitian but can be done by someone who has a proficient background in nutrition and is attuned to recovery culture. Many of the slides have notes under them to help guide you through it all. If you or anyone you know is interested in conducting research using the curriculum, let’s talk.
The Nutrition in Recovery curriculum consists of 26 weeks (that’s 6 months!) of educational presentations, handouts, videos, games, activities, and discussion topics, all of which build upon the previous weeks, but can also be used in any order. Some groups include homework, recipes to keep, and are all designed to stimulate excellent discussion. There is no nutritional agenda embedded into the curriculum, it is flexible to a wide range of approaches. It is also eating disorder informed and friendly, and the best part about it is that you will get the actual PowerPoint and Word docs whenever available, so you can customize the curriculum as you see fit! This will make working at a treatment center manageable, and fun!
- Week 1: The Basics
- Week 2: The Nutrition in Recovery Method
- Week 3: Fiber the Missing Nutrient
- Week 4: Incorporating More Fiber
- Week 5: Budgeting Food During Recovery
- Week 6: Smoothie Workshop
- Week 7: Sugar, Salt, Fat
- Week 8: Let’s Talk Breakfast
- Week 9: Substance Substitution
- Week 10: Oats Workshop
- Week 11: Conversations About Sugar
- Week 12: Emotional Eating
- Week 13: Exercise in Recovery
- Week 14: Whole Grains and the Mediterranean Diet
- Week 15: Artificial Sweeteners
- Week 16: Salad Dressing Workshop
- Week 17: Fads and Myths
- Week 18: Guess that Plant
- Week 19: Binge Eating Solutions
- Week 20: Body Image and Disordered Eating
- Week 21: Chocolate Bites Workshop
- Week 22: So Many Different Approaches
- Week 23: Mindful Eating
- Week 24: Food Safety
- Week 25: Stress and Inflammation
- Week 26: Cooking in Recovery
The cost of the curriculum is $695 and as a limited-time bonus includes a 30-minute consulting session with David Wiss MS RDN within 3 months of purchase. David will also send you his range of academic publications related to nutrition, substance use disorders, and eating disorders. You can use the 30-minute session either to seek clarification on the curriculum, to dive deeper into the research and learn more about the link between nutrition and mental health, or to pick David’s brain about anything. Lastly, those who purchase the curriculum will be added to a special mailing list where we will eventually form a group of nutritionists who work in addiction treatment centers sharing ideas, challenges, and victories. The goal is to one day have a recognized certification, and those who get in now will likely end up as the original leaders. Let’s join forces!
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ready to make a payment? Use credit card HERE.
Please make sure to include the proper email address for correspondence. You will be asked to sign a non-disclosure before receiving the Nutrition in Recovery curriculum.
Functional medicine is a growing movement in the health care system. Many different types of practitioners can seek additional training in functional medicine, which aligns with emerging integrative and holistic approaches to treatment. Functional medicine is a systems biology–based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease. This creates opportunities for different providers to collaborate in order to create the best care for patients. For example, a functional medicine physician might partner with an acupuncturist and a registered dietitian nutritionist to create a functional medicine practice. Many providers can use this approach as a stand-alone, and it essentially means that the work is informed by a holistic approach and often uses specific laboratory tests to determine which course to take. Functional medicine often considers lifestyle influences, genetics, and the environment. Often times this course is considered non-traditional, or off the beaten path. However, functional medicine approaches are making their way into mainstream medicine, as evidence the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine.
What is a Functional Medicine Nutritionist?
A functional medicine nutritionist is an individual who works alongside a functional medicine team, or can operate independently. It can be a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) but there are many other kinds of nutritionists who use this approach. The largest organization of RDNs in this specialty is known as Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine, which Nutrition in Recovery founder David Wiss is proud to be a member! Mr. Wiss presented for this group at the Food and Nutrition Conference & Expo in 2019. The key tenets of functional nutrition are the same: to take a holistic and passionate approach to health and healing by tailoring treatments to address an individual’s unique needs. A functional nutritionist will focus on positive vitality rather than just the absence of disease. We focus on social, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of wellness.
Is Functional Medicine Quackery?
According to Wikipedia, functional medicine is highly controversial due to the potential for many of its treatment to be non-evidence based or even harmful. While at Nutrition in Recovery we are endorsing a functional nutrition approach, we also acknowledge the potential for many practitioners to use this term to oversell testing services and supplements. The term is being abused, and unqualified individuals are seeking profit at the expense of public health. In Los Angeles (and California as a whole for that matter), anyone can practice functional nutrition, there are no licensing restrictions. For this reason, it is very important to find a functional medicine nutritionist you can trust. Reach out to us. We are happy to answer any questions and address any concerns.
Is Personalized Nutrition the Future?
David Wiss says YES. And guess what? The future is now. Let’s get started on your personalized nutrition plan. At Nutrition in Recovery we offer blood testing for food sensitivities, blood testing for micronutrient and antioxidant analysis, stool testing for microbiome analysis, and saliva testing for genetic analysis. When combined, all of these tests give a comprehensive overview of one’s health which can clearly indicate next steps. There will always be some trial-and-error but with personalized nutrition using functional medicine approaches, we can remove a lot of the guesswork. Watch a video on David’s Instagram about personalized nutrition.Read more
Who doesn’t love a good podcast? David Wiss has been very fortunate to be invited as a guest on many podcasts over the years! Many people have told him that they have listened to various shows and then reached out to begin a discussion. Podcasts are a great way to meet new colleagues and make new friends! Therefore, these three podcasts are all very rewarding.
The first podcast is probably the most potent. This was a very intelligent and well-organized conversation with Elizabeth Irias LMFT from Clearly Clinical. This site provides continuing education units to mental health professionals.
This second one is with Erin Kenney MS RDN from Nutrition Rewired who is a rising star in the dietitian field! In this episode they discuss the link between early life adversity and disordered eating over the lifespan, as well as some other hot topics such as sugar addiction and gut health!
This next podcast is with Smitty who is a personal trainer and health coach specializing in working with people in recovery. Smitty is the founder of Navigate Health & Fitness. In this episode they cover various topics related to the role of nutrition and exercise in mental health and substance use disorder recovery. The best part is when they talk about body image, particularly as it relates to men.
This final podcast is a real delight! Tanya Stricek is a health coach who specializes in nutrition and eating behavior. In this episode Tanya shared her personal journey and David interjects with some science and diagnostic considerations to accompany her case study. This conversation is seamless and Tanya summarizes key points on the podcast link below.Read more
David Wiss MS RDN founder of Nutrition in Recovery discusses three different theories to explain why people binge eat: 1) emotional eating 2) dietary restraint and 3) food addiction. He discusses their areas of convergence and divergence and shares his experience as a clinician and researcher.
Struggle with binge eating? Reach out. We can help.Read more
How Does Trauma Impact Food and Body?
The biological embedding of adversity is a fascinating area of research! This presentation is from the Los Angeles District of California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics annual conference.
David Wiss MS RDN discusses how early life adversity impacts human biology. This presentation describes how social factors can get “under the skin” and alter neurobiology. Mr. Wiss discusses potential consequences such as sexual abuse and known links to eating behavior.
Do you have questions about biological embedding? Are you curious to learn more about the link between sexual abuse and eating disorders? Don’t hesitate to reach out!Read more
David Wiss MS RDN walks you through the most important concepts related to the dopamine system including wanting vs. liking and reward expectancy. He also shares some personal stuff! Understanding neuroscience is the key to understanding human behavior.Read more
Four years ago we had a BIG idea. What if we could throw a nutrition conference in Los Angeles and talk about the important issues that are not being addressed at the state and national conferences?
What if we could lead the discussion that would pave the way for future nutrition professionals? What if there was WAY more to it than most people think? And thus the conversation was BORN. Each year we have been sold out, and this year will be the most epic yet!
On behalf of LAD – Los Angeles District of California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics I am THRILLED to announce our line-up this year for our VIRTUAL EVENT “More than Meets the Eye: How Unseen Factors Impact Nutrition and Health” on Friday July 31, 2020.
If you have an interest in nutrition, join us for a full day of cutting edge information plus networking with like-minded individuals. We are offering 4 CPEs for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists. If you’re a student, intern, aspiring nutritionist, or just have a general interest in learning more about where the future of our field is headed, this event is for you!Read more
Who doesn’t love a rich podcast interview about behavioral health nutrition? Below is a list of David Wiss podcast interviews from this year. They are all different but most touch on David’s passion for using nutrition in the treatment of substance use disorders. Some of the interviews are more focused on eating disorders and others are more focused on mental health in general. Check them all out!
Getting Better with Adam w/ Adam Silberstein, PsyD
In this podcast we discuss:
- Co-occurring eating and substance use disorder
- Food and body issues among men
- Discernment regarding different treatment approaches for eating disorder
Think Yourself Healthy w/ Heather Deranja, MA, RDN, LDN, CPT
In this podcast we discuss:
- Nutrition for substance use disorder: history and where it is headed
- Food addiction: controversies and implications for public health
- Sugar addiction: how it affects gut health and mental wellness
Cope Like a Pro w/ Ilona Varo, LMFT
In this podcast we discuss:
- The life course impact of adverse childhood experiences
- Behavioral health disorders related to nutrition
- Pathways related to the gut-brain axis
Dietitian Rehab w/ Doug Cook, MHSc, RDN
In this podcast we discuss:
- Broad concept of nutrition for mental health
- Nutrition education for substance use disorder
- The current climate of eating disorder treatment
More David Wiss podcast interviews coming soon!Read more