Of the various eating disorders out there, food addiction receives a relatively small amount of attention. Most everyone has heard of bulimia, but food addiction is a completely different syndrome where a person will gorge themselves on a particular type of food, or a particular food group, to the point where they make themselves sick. There is often a period of guilt afterward where the person regrets the binging, but the behavior repeats itself again at a later time, and the cycle continues. This addiction is most often associated with junk food or with things like ice cream, but a person can develop a food addiction for almost anything. It is believed that food addiction is caused by depression, lack of self-confidence, and other mental health issues.
Since most people are not even aware that food addiction is an actual condition, it can be difficult for someone in your life to step in and show you that your behavior is unhealthy. Rest assured because a long-term recovery with a holistic approach is so much possible to get rid of the addiction to food.
What is the impact of food addiction?
Since eating is something we all must do on a regular basis, food addiction is an incredibly debilitating condition. It can take an action that most of us treasure, eating, and turn it into a hellish experience fraught with guilt, self-doubt, and anxiety. A person will likely lose weight, always try to eat by themselves, skip meals, and avoid being social at all costs. Since the body is likely being deprived of healthy meals during times of addiction, declines in health can be rapid. Because of the immediate impact food addiction can have on a person, the sooner a diagnosis can be made, the better.
What are the symptoms of food addiction?
Likely the first thing you will notice in a friend that has developed a food addiction is that they always seek to be alone when they eat. This is usually followed by signs of possible bulimia or other better-known eating disorders. Rapid weight loss and an aversion to food in a public place will often be seen, as well. Major changes in behavior and disposition are also likely. A person will seldom admit that they have a problem until a major event occurs, such as a trip to the hospital.
What are the consequences of food addiction?
To put it bluntly, the short-term consequence of food addiction is death. Even more than drug addiction, food addiction can have an immediate and profound impact on someone’s health. While drug addictions can be hidden, sometimes for months before someone finds out, food addiction is almost impossible to hide unless someone leaves the public eye altogether. Help for such a condition is available, mostly through doctors and clinics set up to treat other eating disorders. If you feel that someone you know has a food addiction or another eating disorder, it may be time to confront them or take a moment to speak to a health care professional.