Food addiction is a disease-causing loss of control over the ability to stop eating certain foods. Scientifically, food addiction is a cluster of chemical dependencies on specific foods or food in general. After the ingestion of highly palatable foods such as sugar, excess fat, and/or salt the brains of some people develop a physical craving for these foods. Over time, the progressive eating of these foods distorts a person’s thinking and leads to negative consequences they do not want but cannot stop.
- Do you eat when you’re not hungry?
- Do you eat large quantities of food at one time (binge)?
- Is your weight problem due to your grazing on food all day long?
- Have you ever wanted to stop eating and found you just couldn’t?
- Do you have feelings of guilt and remorse after overeating?
- Do you think about food or your weight constantly?
- Do you binge and then use vomiting, exercise, laxatives, or other forms of purging to try to control your weight?
- Does your eating behavior make you or others unhappy?
Despite evidence to the contrary, have you continued to insist that you can control your eating and weight whenever you wish?
- Do you eat sensibly before others and make up for it alone?
- Have you ever discarded and sworn off food, only to retrieve and eat it later?
- Do you eat in secret?
- Is your weight or your feelings about your weight affecting the way you live your life?
- Do you find yourself attempting one diet or food plan after another, with no lasting success?
- Has a doctor or family member ever approached you with concerns about your eating habits or weight?
- Do you eat to avoid your feelings?
- Have you ever been treated for obesity or a food-related condition?
If you have answered yes to several of these questions, you may benefit from receiving help for addictive eating.