Blog Post Week 37 4

Is A Food Addiction Possible?

food addiction, food dependency

Food addiction is often viewed with skepticism but this is a very real condition that affects millions of people around the globe. This is commonly believed to be one of the reasons why the population of the USA tends to struggle with obesity and poor health despite being a modernized nation with a decent health care system. In some individuals the fat and certain other components found in many foods can stimulate the same pleasure center of the brain that drugs and alcohol do. This means that they may cause dependency or even addiction with some people. They may experience the same positive emotions and pleasure sensations that an alcoholic does when they consume alcohol. Dopamine and other chemicals in the brain cause a feeling of euphoria and well being. This may lead the individual to eat even when they are not hungry, in order to avoid negative feelings or fill an emotional or spiritual void.

How can a food addiction be treated? Food is necessary for life, but that does not mean that every hour requires large quantities and unhealthy varieties. Often the pleasure chemicals override the normal digestive process, and you may not receive the usual signals that tell you to stop eating. A tolerance can also develop which means that you get less pleasure even though you eat more over time. The same types of therapy that have proven effective for other addictions will also work for a food dependency. Individual and group counseling, nutritional consultations, and dietary advice are combined to ensure that you have all of the help and information available.

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