Joan has been looking for a reliable way to help people stop eating addictive harmful foods since 1996. Here is the story of how a 23-year quest finally yielded online programs that reliably give compulsive overeaters control over food for the long-term.
1996 Joan creates a handout of healthy foods for friends but no one can follow it. This showed that a handout is not effective in helping people change eating routines. Nonetheless, health professionals are still relying on handouts today.
2000 Joan publishes her popular book Sugars and Flours: How they Make us Crazy, Sick and Fat. The book stayed in the top 3% of Amazon books for over 10 years but did not spark a revolution in eating styles. A book was not enough. Nonetheless, hundreds of diet/health books continue to be published.
2001+ Joan teams up with PBS producer Patricia Gras to teach Americans about the harm of processed foods. This does not help but such programs are still being produced.
2007 Joan earns her PhD in the hope of reaching academics. To her astonishment, she discovers a vast body of obesity literature describing the symptoms of food addiction. Her dissertation validates alcoholism diagnostic criteria for overeating. Although the scientific basis for food addiction exists, it is hidden.
2009 Dr. Ifland publishes the first description of food addiction in the academic press. The article has been cited 302 times as of this writing. The scientific field of food addiction has swiftly grown but does not reach practitioners nor the public. It did not create the reliable help that Joan was searching for.
2010 Joan founds Victory Meals, a prepared meal company with the goal of showing people easily how much better they feel without processed foods. One finding was that prepared meals are too expensive to sustain health. To her surprise, Dr. Ifland found that even highly successful people were released from cravings, brain fog, and fatigue when eating non-addictive food. Processed food impairment reaches the highest levels of society.
2014 Joan is approached by CRC Press to write the textbook for the food addiction field. Processed Food Addiction: Foundations, Assessment, and Recovery is published in 2018. It is 204,000 words supported by 2,000 studies. It establishes the scientific basis for food addiction and shows it to be a widespread, severe addiction. This is the foundational work that shows why all weight-loss programs are inadequate to put reverse overeating and diet-related disease for the long term.
2016 Dr. Ifland begins offering online support to overeaters. The rationale for focusing on online programs is that overeaters are severely addicted which justifies a level of support equal to Intensive Outpatient Treatment. However, such treatment is not available. The initial offering of one phone call per day is not enough. The program builds to 5 hours per day of live programming.
2019 The Addiction Reset Community (ARC) with the Home Addiction Reset Program (HARP) finally bring control over food to a beta test group of 30 individuals who had been bingeing uncontrollably. Access to five hours of live programming per day on the Zoom platform, plus a periodic all-day, multi-day live program proves to be enough to keep addictive overeating and diet-related diseases in remission.
2019 The American College of Nutrition promotes Dr. Ifland to Fellow.
Future. Dr. Ifland continues to work to improve retention, shorten the time to control over food, and attract compulsive overeaters to her programs.
American College of Nutrition, Council on Food Addiction. Washington, DC
Victory Meals Program, LLC. Houston, TX
Position: Chief Executive Officer
Refined Food Addiction Research Foundation. Houston, TX.
Society of Food Addiction Professionals. Houston, TX.
Position: Co-Founder, Co-Chair