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food addiction

What is Food Addiction?

Our modern culture often uses expressions like being an addict to sugar or chocolate, sweet things. The truth is not everyone is addicted to sugar, but many people do suffer from true food addiction. Nearly 21% of people in a recent survey showed true signs of food addiction. It may be even higher than that, given the highly processed foods we consume and how they are consumed. People with an existing addiction to alcohol or drugs are likely to slip into food addiction or bad habits like overeating or not eating enough. Find out more about food addiction and how to find support.

Consequences of Food

Everyone has to eat to survive. Having said that, not everyone eats the same kinds of foods, the same amount, or with the same frequency. People eat according to their culture, preferences, diet plans, restrictions, or because they can. They also don’t eat if they don’t want to or because they may be struggling with a mental health issue or substance use disorder and food addiction becomes part of that struggle. True food addiction is a metabolic, biochemical imbalance of the brain and body that become preoccupied with weight and body image to the point of losing control over the food that is consumed.

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders may develop when a person tries to control their eating habits. This also goes for underlying food addiction challenges. Disordered eating can include:

  • Fasting
  • Purging and vomiting
  • Food restriction like anorexia
  • Laxatives
  • Over-exercising

Food addiction occurs because people become ashamed of their bodies or way they look. A person with food addiction will eat moderately but may binge in secret. After a binge, the person feels guilt, remorse, self-contempt, and other negative feelings. The combination of craving and mental obsession sets off a new cycle of binge eating which leads to great despair and shame. This cycle is common for many types of disordered eating, along with food addiction.

Seeking Help

The combination of physical craving and mental obsession can wear on a person and is quite seriously progressive over time. The condition will only get worse and may become fatal if treatment is not sought after. There may be underlying substance use disorders that go along with the addiction to food and the body may suffer from heart disease, stroke, diabetes, or any number of health-related illnesses due to addiction. It is important to connect with a program that supports a holistic recovery and works with dual diagnosis, as food addiction is rarely the only thing going on in a person’s life. Often, there are other, perhaps undiagnosed, concerns happening which need to be addressed altogether if a person is to have a chance at healing.

It is possible to heal from addiction to food. Just like an addiction to drugs or alcohol, there are likely many things going on that need to be addressed. Serenity has the compassionate staff and dedicated programs which focus on holistic healing practices. We will help you get to a place of healing in recovery. Call us 24/7 at our toll-free number: 866-294-9401