- Mental Health
Food Addiction Is A Real Addiction
Food Addiction Kills
Globesity: An Overweight Epidemic
What Is A Food Addiction
A food addiction is just like most other types of addiction; a maladaptive pattern of substance use or process obsession. In this case, food is the substance and the process. Many studies are looking into the hypothesis that an addiction to food, is no less a clinical disorder than is an addiction to drugs. Where the trouble in proving the theory arrives is, a food addiction is considered a "process" rather than a "substance" problem which manages to bring some skepticism to the idea that food can have an unyielding addictive power over someone. However, when you think about it, it may actually be a little about the process and the substance in this case. Let's take a look at the differences between the two.
What You Think Really Does Matter!
Are you, or someone you know suffering from what you believe to be food addiction?
Define The Two Types Of Addiction
What Is A Substance Addiction
Substance addictions stem from a chemical or emotional compulsive behavior surrounding the use of a given substance—think along the lines of alcoholism, drug abuse, or smoking.
What Is A Process Addiction
A mood-altering or behavioral activity that becomes compulsive around a given process—think in terms of sexual addiction, gambling, shopping, hording and yes, eating.
What Makes Up An Addiction
There are 11 proposed criteria that determine if an addiction of some sort is in play. Displaying two or more of these criteria can indicate you may have an addiction.
11 Steps To Addiction
- failure to complete major obligations
- physically dangerous
- increases or causes social and interpersonal problems
- tolerance or need for substance or process increases
- increasing dosage or consumption
- failure to cut down
- large amount of time wasted to obtain
- use and recover
- quitting or reducing activities because of use or process
- continuing process or use even when awareness of the problem exists
Foods With Drug-of-abuse-like Effects
Junk food companies design there recipes in such a way that, "taking" them produces the "craving" for them. We have all heard about the crack supplier who generously offers, "Don't worry about it, the first one's on me." Sound familiar? It should, this is the exact same trap that addictive junk food lined grocery store shelves are doing with a "two for one" deal. Many modern world-class researchers stand firm on the belief that certain foods absolutely promote the same "effect" as do drugs-of-abuse. Which is quite telling in just how these particular junk food products trigger loss of control that inevitably results in overeating. Remember that slogan, "I bet you can't eat just one"? This may have been the most important moment in junk food marketing; and potentially a covert back-handed attack on the American waistline.
Where Is Added Sugar Hiding In American Diets
AMOUNT IN OVRALL DIET
Dairy based desserts
Grain based desserts
Soda, energy/sports drinks
Sugars & honey
All other food items
Food Addiction Study
A 2011 study (Novak & Brownell, 2011; Aven et al., 2012) took a good look at the opiate-like withdrawal symptoms in lab rats who had been given great tasting fatty foods. The results were very telling; the rats exhibited significant withdrawal symptoms after having been fed the junk food—french fries, and other sugar, fats, and salty snacks. All of which brought on the addictive-like results.
Junk Food Triggers
The Novak & Brownell study strongly supports the food addiction theory. Further studies conducted show that differences between tasty food that (human) patients crave are greater than the craving for a glass of water. Thus, the research discovered that an actual chemical change takes place in the junk food intoxicated brain—dopamine (our happy chemical) is triggered—but only in obese patients unlike the thin control group. Which indicates that the obese individuals are experiencing a brain reward from the junk food, as would an alcoholic from a shot of gin. Among the most devastating contributors of this trigger, are those sugary sweet sodas and energy/sports drinks which make up about a whopping 36% of the overall source.
What Foods Are Addicting
Are All Foods Addicting
Not all foods are addictive. Thankfully, far from it! However, foods that have a high level of sugar, fat and salt most certainly have very strong addictive features. These are the "first string" foods when it comes to contributing to an eating disorder(s).
It is important to understand that the addiction to food is a two-edged sword; this is because it can be psychological or physiological and—unfortunately, in most cases—even both. But, there is good news for food addicts! With the new information being found during modern research studies, new treatments are also being discovered and tested to better serve the food addicted population. Stopping the cycle of abuse is the goal, with the key to winning the battle finding a way to stop the cravings all together.
Is There Treatment For Food Addicts
Along with the study of food addiction comes the potential for forward thinking discoveries in the actual treatment of food addicts, pleasure-related over-eaters, and the obese. The work is being done to find ways to change the foods that addicts (and people in general) crave, rather than finding ways to reduce the appetite itself. Stopping or reducing the craving, could stop the obesity epidemic all together. Creating a craving for healthy foods instead of damaging deadly foods is something researchers are currently discussing at length.
Medical Concerns In Obese People
- liver disease
- variety of cancers
Obesity And The Liver
Can Obesity Cause Liver Disease
With obesity comes an unbelievable number of medical issues ranging from gallstones to cancer. However, one particular issue discovered in obese people—obese youth in particular—is the high risk of the silent killer, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This is generally accompanied by sluggish and even poor liver function that is linked to liver enzymes and torso pain (Hoppin, 2004). If not treated, NAFLD can turn into cirrhosis of the liver, which poses the highest risk factor in developing full-blown liver cancer.
Appetite Stimulating Foods
4 Foods That Cause Cravings
Foods To Avoid When Fighting Cravings
Many foods bring on that feeling of, "I need more!" But, some activate the body into super-eating mode. Here are four foods that are sure to cause cravings every time you put them into your body.
1. Fruit Juice - Most contain high levels of fructose corn syrup, which has been proven to cause spikes in blood sugar levels. Spiking sugar levels induce the body into craving more sugar. If you are drinking the processed stuff, it has even more sugar added!
2. Regular & Diet Soda - Besides the fact that sugary soft drinks are loaded with artificial "everything," the diet version of this junk food has been shown to actually cause weight gain! They contain very high quantities of sodium that can lead to hypertension in those prone to the disorder. The combination of sugar and salt makes the body crave them like nothing else.
3. White Bread - Not only does white bread instantly turn to sugar in your body, but it has had all of the nutrients and fiber extracted during processing. This product has to have nutrients added back into the recipe just so it can be sold as food.
4. Processed Cereals - It is no wonder everyone is after that little leprechaun's Lucky Charms®, as most processed cereals are chalked-full of sugar! Which, as we now know, causes food cravings. Stick with real oatmeal, or at least buy cereals that are equal in sugar and fiber, which can help reduce the intense craving the cereal can cause
Appetite Reducing Foods
4 Foods That Control Appetite
Which Foods Stop Cravings
Many high fiber and high nutrient foods help calm cravings, some more than others. What you will find here, are a few that can help quell the need to eat those sugary fat foods we so often deeply crave.
1. Peppermint - Simply taking a whiff of this sweet mint's leaf serves to trigger the brain's satiety center into thinking the body has been satisfied. The best thing about this appetite stopping food is that a simple sniff of peppermint, has zero calories!
2. Raw Vegetables - Because veggies take a while to chew, the body has a chance to release and be effected by the chemistry which shuts down the appetite; making it think it has been satisfied. The bundle of healthy fiber found in raw non-starchy veggies—like carrots and bell peppers in particular—suppresses the appetite by filling the intestines more completely. This allows the phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals to enter your bloodstream, which stops the need to feed in its tracks.
3. Almonds - A simple handful (15 to 20) of these little gems as a snack contains enough of the essential amino acid phenylalanine to slow digestion enough to convince your tummy it is full. This can take about 20 minutes, so wait it out. In case you were wondering, that handful of almonds only has about 10 grams of fat, but it is good monounsaturated fat! This stuff helps promote healing in the body!
4. Turkey - Tryptophan not only helps us to feel sleepy, but this amino acid gets converted into serotonin. What is so special about that? Serotonin shuts off the appetite like a light switch! Try to only eat turkey meat sliced right off of the bird, or from a high quality deli. NEVER eat shiny slick-looking turkey meat—this stuff is packed full of additives!
Food And Alcohol Addition
Is Food Addiction Real
Not all people believe that food addiction is a real condition—like alcohol, or drug addiction— but the modern studies being conducted have certainly convinced me. In my opinion, food addiction has caused a very real globesity problem, one that would seem to surpass even that of drug abuse and alcoholism. What concerns me even more is that food addiction can begin in early childhood, where our habits are engrained for a lifetime. There is no doubt that teaching good food habits from an early age is vital in the fight against globesity. But, for those who are in the trenches doing battle with obesity currently, there is hope for modern treatments and potentially a cure. Research in this area must continue and be supported by all who suffer with the disease, and by those who love them.