Editorials

Is Food Addiction Really a Thing?

By Carlo Carrubba

This may be the first topic to which I have the answer right off the bat. Yes, Food Addiction is really a thing.

There is another question, which I will provide the answer to: do you fall into the category of the addicted?

The first source I used was one that contrasted my idea. This was an article by Ashley Seruya. It brought up some very good points. First of all, Eating addiction, rather than Food Addiction is the term to be used when describing addictive eating behavior patterns.

Secondly, like many other quotidian human things, food triggers the reward system in the brain, for a very good reason: food keeps you alive.

Its third point was also a very significant one. Since we live in a world accustomed to dieting, many people are deprived of things like sugar, carbohydrates, and other. Deprivation triggers a more aggressive response to food, wanting more and more of it (hunger). This makes sense, we should indeed stop eating when we feel full, in other words, when all the chemicals in our body are brought back to the range which we require for our survival.

This is not what we see in real life for many people. Why is that?

This is what my second source explained. This article did not have an author available, but used sources like Yale University websites, and diet and nutrition sites.  Serotonin is a chemical associated with compulsive eating. This provokes many symptoms that could very easily lead to binge eating. Some of these are depression, insomnia, and other of the sort. Depression and insomnia are both very uncomfortable feelings, and binge eating “cures” them temporarily (for a few hours). Compulsive Eating Behavior is a stimulant for dopamine.  Since low levels of this chemical trigger an empty feeling, and dopamine is a chemical that can boost levels of happiness, binge eating may be used as a substitute for low serotonin: addictive binge eating floods the brain with dopamine, and many people use it to inadequately “cure sadness”.This source worked at understanding what the addicted feel. Once they have fallen into the addictive behavior of Compulsive Eating/binge eating, they may as well try to stop it, but they will not succeed without professional help. As for what they feel while they are eating: the rush of dopamine immediately follows their snacking. They need more food every day to have the “feel good chemical” in their brain.

Now, for the question few want to answer, do you fall into the category of the addicted to eating? If the above paragraphs did not answer your question, here is something that might: being addicted has some very precise symptoms. Some of these are very similar to symptoms which are related to drug addiction. The first is an empty resolution. Another one that makes eating addiction obvious is obesity. The last symptom that may help you to diagnose yourself right now is if you are making excuses as to why you feel like what I just described, but don’t think you are an addict.

I really do hope this was useful, and it all goes back to what I said in my Fortnite article. Something your mother has said to you many, many times. Moderation, Moderation, Moderation.         

Peace out.

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Categories: Editorials

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