Should Food Addiction and Obesity be Treated the Same Way?

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If you’re obese should you be entering a treatment program to lose weight and deal with what some might consider a food addiction? Obesity in the western world has become one of, if not the biggest health concern for a number of countries. Is it time to treat food addiction and obesity the same way we treat addicts who are addicted to heroin or alcohol? We know that drugs and alcohol can have extremely serious health consequences, and we also know that obesity can have similar and equally devastating effects on our health. There are existing options to help people lose weight, but perhaps it’s time to re-think how we address the problem and start treating it the same way we treat those who can’t, on their own, deal with their substance abuse. On the other hand, maybe obesity isn’t yet considered a disease like many forms of addiction, so perhaps that’s why we aren’t shipping our obese family members off to rehab centers to permanently deal with their problems of over-eating and unhealthy lifestyles. Also, it could be the case that many people who are obese aren’t actually addicted to food, but simply don’t have the time to cook and eat properly and instead rely on fast-food options and prepared food that they can toss in the oven for twenty minutes and be done with it. Others still may have a legitimate health problem that has affected their hormones in such a way that leads to obesity, while others may simply have the genetic material that makes it extremely difficult to lose weight from traditional practices like eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.

It could be that the distinctions between food addiction and obesity haven’t yet been explained clearly enough, and that’s why those who are in fact addicted to food can seek treatment to improve their health while others who are obese may not in fact be experiencing symptoms of an addiction but simply don’t take care of themselves the way that many say they should.

For now, perhaps the best thing researchers who study food addiction could do is determine whether food addiction and obesity stem from the same cause or if they are in fact two completely different entities that should be treated differently on a psychological and medical level.

Should Food Addiction and Obesity be Treated the Same Way?