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“Because of the increasing rates of obesity, unhealthy eating habits, and physical inactivity, we may see the first generation that will have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.”

U.S. Surgeon General,
Richard Carmona,
March 2004

Human Interest Panel

Joan Ifland, PhD (cand.), MBA

Founder and Chair of Refined Food Addiction (ReFA) Research Foundation. She is also the author of Sugars and Flours: How They Make Us crazy, Sick and Fat and has been teaching professional and lay audiences about food addiction since 1996.


Joan Ifland is a researcher and educator in the field of food addiction and allergies. She is a doctoral candidate in addictive nutrition at Union Institute and University, Cincinnati, Ohio and holds an MBA from Stanford University. She was the founder in 1996 of The Sugars and Flours Project of Houston which provides education about food reactions. In 2007, she founded the Refined Food Addiction (ReFA) Research Foundation which is dedicated to facilitating the flow of information between clinicians and researchers. She is the lead author of the first academically-published description of food addiction in humans. She is a co-founder of the Society of Food Addiction Professionals. Her popular book is Sugars and Flours: How They Make Us Crazy, Sick, and Fat. She writes a weekly column for United Press International, Joan on Food. Her patent for research methods, treatment methods, and treatment products is pending.

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Read Joan's column at United Press International


Refined food addiction: A classic substance use disorder