There are a number of behaviors that qualify as ‘addictions’; these are things that we are compelled to do regardless of their consequences. Food addiction is one type of addiction that involves a frequent compulsion to consume or eat specific foods, including those that are harmful for us. Food can be harmful in various ways. For instance, it may contain high amounts of sugar or may be fattening – both, when consumed in excess quantities, can lead to numerous health problems such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Food addiction is also known as binge eating. An occasional, big meal cannot be classified as an addiction. On the other hand, eating a lot regularly and rapidly that you feel nauseated is defined as a potential addiction.
After eating a few cookies, for example, a non-addict would feel uninterested in eating more of them. However, in an addict, the response would be quite different. An addict would continue to gulp down as many as possible until he or she becomes physically unable to do so.
If you think you are not an addict, it does not imply that you have mastered the art of self-control. It is just that you do not possess a voracious appetite for more food.
A food addict can be any of the following:
An overweight individual who always tries new diets
A person who eats to fullness at dinner even after snacking throughout the day to deal with stress
A thin individual who does not eat enough with the fear of getting overweight, and is hungry all the time
An individual who is not satisfied with his/her body
And many others
As can be seen from the different examples above, food addiction can be due to various reasons and have nothing to do with the body weight of a person. However, when a person does get into the habit of eating too much, they will start to gain weight.
Food Addiction Symptoms
Check the following symptoms to determine if they apply to you:
Do you end up consuming more food than planned?
Do you keep eating even when you are no longer hungry?
Do you worry about not eating particular foods or think about quitting certain foods?
Do you go out of your way to find specific foods, even if they are not easily available?
A ‘yes’ to any of the above questions will indicate your tendency towards binge eating.
Health Problems Due to Food Addiction
Some of the health problems associated with food addiction are as follows:
It is highly recommended that you seek help from a healthcare professional, if you feel you are addicted to food. A doctor or a nutritionist will be able to develop a personalized treatment solution that will help you control your binge-eating problem.