You’ve Heard of The Big Three Addictions. Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs. Meet The Fourth: Food

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Food addiction exists and is a growing reality. The big three of substances most abused being drugs, alcohol and tobacco may be what you’re most familiar with when you think of addictive behavior, but new research is indicating that some people are dealing with an addiction so aggressive and problematic that it can rival the addictive patterns of behavior of a heavy smoker, drinker or drug user. Of course there are big differences between someone who is hooked on food versus someone who abuses alcohol or cocaine. The primary difference being that before we start doing drugs and after some of us have stopped, we generally don’t encounter our drug of choice on a daily basis. For those who have become obsessed with food, however, it’s not as though they can make it through their day without being forced to indulge. We need to eat, but for some it’s becoming a cruel and desperate circle of life.

“When you are addicted to alcohol, you put the tiger in the cage and leave it there in order to recover. When you are addicted to food, you put the tiger in the cage but take it out three times a day for a walk.”

The wellness of people being affected by food addiction is being shattered. For most people addicted to food they don’t grab a carrot stick, a salad or a healthy beverage. Instead they opt for a delicious looking milkshake, a pizza, a drink full of caffeine or some sort of other sugary snack that feeds the pleasure center of their brain. This behavior can have detrimental effects on a person’s wellbeing and can seriously affect their health and crush their motivation to seek help. Just like any other addictive drug out there, when someone goes from desire to need in respect to a certain kind of food, we can certainly label this an addiction.

With drugs and alcohol we know that over a long period of being addicted to a substance that it requires more and more of that drug to satisfy the need that addicts experience. Someone with a food addiction is no different as they will seek out that certain type of food (similarly to an addict with a preferred drug) and will consume more and more of it over time in order to feel satisfied and in some cases reach that feeling of fullness that only some foods offer.

Luckily for those suffering from food addiction there is treatment and it is important to remember that there are those out there who can help. Physical wellness and mental motivation are important tools you have on your side and with those and professional help it is certainly possible to receive help and go on to lead a much healthier life without the burden of addiction lurking within your thoughts. The current treatment for food addiction is abstaining from certain “trigger” foods and eating patterns. If an eating disorder is also present than counseling and involving a medical professional may be necessary.



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Sobriety Foundation

You’ve Heard of The Big Three Addictions. Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs. Meet The Fourth: Food

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