Okay, first things first - Food addiction is real! Food addiction can not only threaten
one’s health, causing obesity, malnutrition, and other problems, but It can also
have an adverse effect on emotions that leads to mood swings and other mental health
problems. Food addiction is a serious condition with many adverse health consequences.
It can be just as deadly and hazardous to your health as an addiction to cocaine.
Food addiction can be just as devastating as any drug can be and as real as drug
addiction. Thus, it has been shown to work largely through the dopamine-reward pathway.
This addiction is not just the mind playing tricks on people, but proven to be as
addictive as any chemical, substance, or activity.
The human brain is a very delicate and complex part of the human body and dopamine
receptors are triggered by pleasurable activity. By all accounts, eating is a pleasurable
activity. But, unhealthy eating habits, no matter how pleasurable, can become a recipe
for a vast array of health problems. Eating is actually stressful to the body, and
digestion will be delayed when more pressures is present. Eating may be triggered
by emotional cues such as anxiety, depression, boredom, loneliness and anger.
Experts agree that food addiction is likely caused by a number of factors, including
stress level, depression, and emotional eating. Like any other form of addiction,
an addiction to food can lead to low self-esteem, depression and isolation if not
treated properly. It is a serious problem and should be treated as any other addiction
problem. Although this type of addiction is treatable, stay away from “fad” diets
and starvation! On the other hand, studies have shown that counseling and therapy
offer effective forms of treatment.
Because it is different and distinct from obesity and eating disorders, food addiction
is a compulsive disorder that is not trauma-based. It is also the fastest growing
addiction affecting millions of people worldwide.
From overeating to starving oneself, food addiction can manifest in many ways and,
as mentioned, is problematic for millions of people - whether it is overeating or
anorexia and bulimia. However, even though food addiction is a serious problem,
with specialized help, a good support system, and treatment addicts can can be free.
Typically, an addiction to food has been perceived mainly as a problem commonly
seen in females, but it really doesn’t discriminate based on gender and has become
a problem for many adults – men and women alike.
Food addiction is one the most difficult addictions to overcome because, unlike alcohol
or other substance abuse, people just cannot abstain from eating! However, with behavior
modification a food addiction can be one of the easiest forms of compulsive eating
to recover from. On the other hand, if not held in check, food addiction can lead
to a strong desire to continue bad habits with eating and has been implicated in
food craving, bingeing, and obesity.