Do you find yourself overindulging in food especially when you’re not hungry? Maybe you’re feeling down, depressed and you find comfort in food. Let’s take a look at the seriousness behind food addiction.
According to an article at newburyportnews.com, “What is Food Addiction?”
“Food addiction is a serious problem in America. The problem seems to plague more women than men. At least in part because women suffer the soulless cultural biases about aging and appearance more than men do.
Today’s article focuses on one type of eating disorder that affects what some observers have estimated as 40 percent-plus of American women: compulsive overeating or binge eating.
Eating, like sex, is a plastic function. It can be a means to satisfy ends other than the one with which it is directly associated. Food can become a form of self-medication, whereby we satisfy psychological needs and not nutritional ones.
There is a difference between appetite and hunger. When our body requires food, we experience hunger. For the food addict, the mechanisms controlling appetite are awry. It is as if a thermostat in a room continues to call for heat in error.
Most of us experience times of depression or agitation that seem to get varying degrees of relief from indulging in refined carbohydrate-rich foods. Such indulgences, if used only rarely, provide symbolic satisfaction and offer us a strategy to feel better without risking our health.
But for food addicts, the tendency to use food to control emotional discomfort becomes compulsive and outside of their conscious control. For them, overeating is an addictive disorder. Thoughts about food become as obsessive as do thoughts of drugs for the cocaine or heroin addict. The mind-body mechanisms that drive addicts to pursue their drugs are no different than those that drive the carbohydrate addict to binge on cakes and pastries.
The stressful feelings caused by life situations and personality problems can trigger a powerful appetite to eat. This urge can become uncontrollable to the point where the food addict can devour enormous quantities of food that leave her feeling sick and desperate. Bulimia is an eating disorder involving cycles of compulsive eating and vomiting. Such “bingeing and purging” can put health at serious risk.” To read the entire article click here.