Intuitive Eating and Ultra-Processed Food Addiction

I have given many podium presentations in my last ten years as a dietitian. Since the pandemic, most of them have been virtual, sometimes allowing for recording. While I miss traveling for live conferences, having my first child has made it difficult. So, I am all for the virtual talks!

Usually, I find a topic I am passionate about and give the talk on multiple occasions, which allows me to get very comfortable with the slides. I have also been guilty of giving a talk that is not ideally suited for the audience because it’s the talk I am presenting at that time.

In the best-case scenario, I can modify the slides to fit the audience. I am learning to “know the audience” better as a speaker. However, it can be hard to pick up on audience cues from virtual presentations.

Over the last 9 months, I have given my talk “Intuitive Eating and Ultra-Processed Food Addiction” half a dozen times. Each time was an improvement from the last. I removed some slides and added new ones as new studies came in and new points needed to be made.

Some were recorded, and I have gotten great feedback on them. I love getting feedback from colleagues, and I invite you to offer yours after watching this one!

My most recent presentation was at the Patton State Hospital Annual Nutrition Seminar, hosted by dietetic interns and available to the hospital staff. This was the best presentation I have ever given. I even got choked up (emotional) at one point.

I can’t wait for you to watch it; it is nearly an hour and a half.



The intuitive eating community insists that food addiction does not exist. But evidence suggests otherwise. There is a timely need to discuss convergence and divergence between differing schools of thought. In this presentation, Dr. David Wiss uses storytelling to share his journey as a dietitian in mental and behavioral health settings. This presentation discusses the shortcomings of the food addiction construct and the shortcomings of the intuitive eating construct. Three clinical vignettes will be presented.

At the end of the presentation, attendees will be able to:

1) Describe the current controversies surrounding the food addiction construct.

2) Describe potential reasons for higher self-reported food addiction rates among those with eating disorders.

3) Describe the potential connections between food addiction and dietary restraint.

4) Describe how food addiction and principles of intuitive eating converge and diverge.

5) Conceptualize potential treatment strategies for food addiction based on the presence of other psychiatric diagnoses such as eating disorders, substance use disorders, PTSD, and depressive symptoms.

6) Discuss three clinical vignettes with attendees and explore different treatment strategies.


If you enjoyed this presentation, please share it with a friend of colleague.

If you have thoughts, please leave them as a comment on YouTube!

The “intuitive eating food addiction” conversation is just beginning. In 2011, the authors of Intuitive Eating released a statement that food addiction does not exist. In 2022, one of the authors stated “I don’t believe in food addiction at all” and this clipped is shared in the presentation.

What say you? Scholarly discourse is also welcomed.

Dr. David Wiss became a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) in 2013 and founded Nutrition in Recovery, a group practice of RDNs specializing in treating 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 Ph.D. 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. Wise Mind Nutrition is an app-based interactive treatment program available for download now -

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