Nutrition Therapy for the Addicted Brain – Webinar by David Wiss MS RDN

International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals
Recent research has highlighted similarities between drug addiction and food addiction. Regardless of whether an addiction is behavioral or substance-related, nutrition therapy should consider the impact of food choices on the brain and on behavior. This presentation will highlight the importance of nutrition in recovery from addictions.
Medical nutrition therapy for individuals with co-occurring eating and substance use disorders includes assessment, planning, nutrition intervention, and counseling. This involves individual education, meal planning, and monitoring of compliance.  Integrated treatment can be challenging when the synergistic effects of combined entities are complex and their affects are poorly understood. Clinicians working with patients who have dual diagnoses should be educated about each disorder separately, as well as their interactions. Patients with substance use disorders often develop disordered and dysfunctional eating patterns during abstinence, and eating disorder patients can similarly progress into substance abuse. Traditionally addiction has been addressed first, however delaying eating disorder treatment can hinder recovery, therefore it is important to alert treatment providers who treat patients with dual diagnoses how to assess and address both disorders simultaneously. Specific macro- and micronutrient supplementation treatment is described in detail. Nutrition therapy should address the most serious medical and nutrition conditions first, then target the psychological aspects related to eating behavior in conjunction with a multidisciplinary treatment team. Nutrition education is important for addiction recovery, particularly those who require specialized wellness care, whereas education for disordered eaters must be sensitive to their specific needs. While these guidelines can help steer nutrition interventions for co-occurring eating and substance use disorders, nutritional needs are always best assessed on an individual basis.
View the full webinar HERE

David became a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) in 2013 and founded Nutrition in Recovery, a group practice of RDNs specializing in the treatment of eating and substance use disorders. In 2017, David received the “Excellence in Practice” award at the national Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo. The California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics awarded him the “Emerging Dietetic Leader Award” in 2020. He earned his PhD from UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health in the Community Health Sciences department (with a minor in Health Psychology) by investigating the links between adverse childhood experiences and various mental health outcomes among socially disadvantaged men. His treatment philosophy is based on a biopsychosocial model which incorporates an understanding of biological mechanisms, psychological underpinnings, and contextual factors that integrate the social determinants of health. His website Wise Mind Nutrition offers a fully online interactive treatment program that will be available in the Summer of 2022.

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