Food addiction is compulsive eating disorder where a person frequently eats either too much or too little. Usually food addiction is an excessive craving for and consumption of food. In most cases food addicts have very specific body image issues and an emotional relationship with their food.
During last decades the society and medical experts accept the fact that persons may be addicted to food in the same way as millions are addicted to alcohol and drugs. When any substance is taken into the body regardless of its potential for harm or in excess of need, that substance should be recognized as “abused substance”. Individuals who abuse substances in such a way are addicts. Individuals who abuse food can be called “persons with food addiction”.
Food addiction could have medical consequences – food addiction can threaten health, causing obesity, malnutrition and other health problems.
FOOD ADDICTION symptoms
Are you food addicted? How to know if you are food addicted?
It is well known that food addicts usually develop very specific physical, mental, emotional craving and chemical addiction to food. The characteristics of food addicts include the following:
Being obsessed and/or preoccupied with food;
Eating when are not hungry or when feel low and/or depressed;
Have tried but failed to control eating – lack of self-control when it comes to food;
Hiding food and/or secretly bingeing;
Having a compulsion about food in which eating results in a cycle of bingeing despite negative consequences;
Having feelings of guilt or remorse after eating;
Feeling pleasure and/or comfort with food and being unable emotionally to stop using food to create a sense of pleasure and comfort;
Having a need to eat which results in a physical craving;
Food addicts suffer from poor body image, and constantly feel the need to lose weight;
Food addicts also could have headaches, insomnia, irritability, mood changes and/or depression.
FOOD ADDICTION causes
The FOOD ADDICTION phenomenon is both physiological and psychological. Food addiction is very similar to other addictions – generally speaking it is a loss of control. The individual understands that their way of eating is harmful, but continues the destructive behavior.
“Food Allergy” Theory
Many individuals have what may be termed “food allergies.” These are trigger foods which when ingested cause negative symptoms and changes in the body but at the same time provoke cravings. The individual, for instance, the diabetic, may be made “sick” by the intake of sugar, but will still continue to crave it and eat it in excess, with adverse effects. Studies are also continuing regarding certain proteins in milk and wheat which when ingested produce narcotic-like effects. These chemicals mimic the body’s natural painkillers, endorphins, and have thus been termed “exorphins.” Individuals may be suffering from depression, low self-esteem or loneliness; they will find a high when ingesting large quantities of food or certain foods such as salt or chocolate. The immediate high gives way to a sick feeling or guilt, leading to more depression. Because the addict is out of control, he or she will turn once again to the same eating patterns in a conscious or unconscious effort to feel better. (from – //www.allaboutlifechallenges.org/food-addiction.htm).
In many people, food addiction is found in their gene that passes on from one generation to the next and often becomes serious if not monitored from childhood.
In some others, it has been observed that excessive eating habits are developed in childhood, and the obsession with food often results from some guilt and depression, which had not been dealt. Instead, to cover up these negative feelings, these people tend to binge more on food. Most of them suffer from low self esteem and crave for love and attention. They are either overweight or excessively underweight.
Disclaimer: It is strongly recommended to consult your doctor for professional advice. Above mentioned information and recommendations are just general and should be adapted to each person according to personal health indicators and status.