It was 1990, and Neal, a 55-year-old salesman from Silver Spring, Md., was hitting rock bottom. For years, he had soothed the stress of his chaotic life with an evening bowl of vanilla ice cream. But in time, that just wasn't enough. Neal started adding a second bowl, then a third. Even after he'd moved on to wolfing down an entire gallon in a single sitting, he soon needed yet a bigger fix. He added doughnuts—one, two, then an entire box.
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