updated 7/13/2005 12:23:16 PM ET 2005-07-13T16:23:16

A psychologist who has spoken out on eating disorders and other issues was arrested after she collapsed in a supermarket, allegedly after inhaling propellant from whipped cream cans.

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Lisa G. Berzins, who has been interviewed on television and in newspapers and successfully lobbied for a state law regulating claims by weight loss businesses, was arrested on a warrant Friday charging her in the May 29 incident.

Berzins, 49, has written and lectured on eating disorders, female development, sex roles and self-esteem, according a speaker’s biography from the American Psychological Association. She has visited schools in a “fat suit” to bring a message to young people about the fear of being overweight.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit, West Hartford police were called to the Farmington Avenue Stop & Shop and found Berzins lying on the floor and bleeding from her head. Berzins, the affidavit says, told police she did not know what happened.

Investigators concluded that Berzins inhaled from three cans of whipped cream containing nitrous oxide, known as laughing gas, the affidavit said.

Berzins was charged with possession of a restricted substance, criminal mischief and creating a public disturbance. She was released on $500 bail and is to appear in Hartford Superior Court on July 21.

“These are only allegations,” Bob Ludgin, Berzins’ lawyer, told The Hartford Courant. “My client is innocent unless convicted. I have confidence that there will be no convictions.”

A spokesman for the state Department of Public Health said Berzins has no prior disciplinary actions.

In 1996, the state passed a law, described as the first of its kind, to ban untruthful advertising claims by companies promoting diets and weight loss programs. It had been pushed by Berzins and state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.

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