Jen Unwin chats with Zoë about her work, book and sugar addiction



Show Notes

Dr Jen Unwin. BSc, MSc, DPsy, C Psychol, FBPsS

Dr Jen Unwin is a Consultant Clinical Health Psychologist. She was a past Chair of the UK Association for Solution Focused Practice and winner of the British Psychological Society Karen Ehlert Lifetime achievement award in clinical health psychology.

Jen has spent her professional life interested in the role of hope in chronic disease and how it can be used to bring about behaviour change and improve quality of life. Her insights teamed up perfectly with Dr David Unwin’s interests in bringing about drug-free type 2 diabetes remission. For 9 years they have been running group sessions in primary care to achieve just that, so far for over 100 patients, saving considerable amounts on de-prescribed drugs.

Both doctors were featured in a BBC TV documentary ‘The truth about carbs’, which was seen by 3.7 million viewers. Since retiring from the NHS, Jen has devoted her time to learning about, researching and helping others with sugar addiction.  She has published a book called ‘Fork in the Road: A hopeful guide to food freedom’, the proceeds of which are for The Public Health Collaboration. Jen is also director of psychology for Health Results Ltd.

In this 30-minute conversation, Jen covers the following aspects of her interest and expertise:

- How did you become interested in sugar addiction?

- How is it defined?

- What tool kit have you developed to help those with sugar addiction?

- How has it helped you and others?

- You’ve been involved with the PHC from the start – how does that dovetail with the sugar addiction work and your work with Dr David Unwin?

- Run us through the GRIN model that you’ve developed in your work. (Goals/Resource/Increments/Noticing) (Ref 1)

- Tell us about your interest in hope in chronic disease.

You can find more about Jen at her website (https://forkintheroad.co.uk/) and/or follow her on Twitter @jen_unwin

By the way, Jen and David’s most recent academic paper has just been published (July 2021). It’s called “Renal function in patients following a low carbohydrate diet for type 2 diabetes.”(Ref 2)  

The American Society of Addiction Medicine (@ASAMorg) defines addiction as the inability to abstain from a substance at a cost to mental/physical health.

The World Health Organization International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) defines dependence as having cravings, having more than intended & for longer, having to manage withdrawal symptoms, needing more to get the same effect, neglecting activities & experiencing clear harms.

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References

1 https://bhma.org/positive-lifestyle-changes/ and https://bhma.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/GRIN-Unwins-JHH-16.2.pdf
2 https://journals.lww.com/co-endocrinology/abstract/9000/renal_function_in_patients_following_a_low.99181.aspx

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