VISTAS Client Characteristics and Needs

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

The Emerging Challenge of Food Addictions: Retooling Treatment Models to Address the Needs of Obese and Overweight Clients

Steven K. Nielsen and Jeanne D. Booth


A study released this year by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC; 2005) was the subject of considerable controversy when it identified that obesity was rivaling tobacco as the number one cause of preventable death in the United States. In their 1990 study, obesity-related deaths outranked alcohol as the “number two killer.” While the Centers for Disease Control’s current study was criticized by some for alleged faults in computation, the final statistical outcomes verified that health problems related to overeating continue to rise to epidemic proportions. Two primary behaviors were cited in the study as the key causal factors in obesity: underactivity and overeating. The CDC’s recent findings are supported by other studies throughout the U.S. focusing on the eating habits of children and adults. This body of evidence is compelling counselors to abandon the notion that eating behaviors are a reflection of lifestyle preferences and to consider overeating as an addictive behavior. 

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