What is a Food Addiction?

Food is quintessential to our survival and it is a necessary aspect of our wellness. Asides the pleasure and enjoyment which comes with taking in food, it also provides sustenance and satisfaction Food addiction can be referred to as the act of being hooked on junk food just the way people get addicted to drugs. The same areas in the brain, the neurotransmitters, are involved.

People who are suffering from food addiction often take foods which are high fat, sugar or salt content, and they activate the chemical reactions in the brain which generate the feelings of satisfaction and pleasure. With time, food addicts become reliant on these good feelings which foods in the aforementioned categories give. Hence, they become obsessed with taking them in order to experience and sustain those feelings.

As they continue to eat those foods, they overindulge, and they take in what is beyond the normal nutrition meant for optimum body growth and development. With this, there is a likely chance that there would be emotional, social and physical consequences for the food addict. Sadly, a food addict would still continue to indulge in this behaviour, irrespective of the fact that there are dire consequences attached to it.

To spot a food addict, you would need to be aware of some signs and symptoms attached to it. To start with, a food addict would take in more food than they can tolerate, and even eat to the point when they fall ill.

Also, they would ensure that they get a certain food even though it is not within their reach, this is one of the strong signs of a food addict. Even if it is at a point when they are not hungry, they would still find themselves eating.

Some of them could also go to the extent of eating in isolation, in order to ensure that they are not seen which could lead to them being criticized.

Food addiction could cause some physical effects such as: Diabetes, malnutrition, obesity, chronic pain, sleep disorders, lessened sex drive, headaches, stroke, arthritis, heart disease. Some psychological effects too could occur: depression, thoughts of suicide, anxiety, low self-esteem and a host of others.

Social effects such as: isolation, poor performance at work or school, avoidance of social hangouts and the likes could also be experienced.

It is essential to reach out to specialized food addiction treatment centres in order to receive the best help possible.

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