Picture the scene: its movie night in your household and you find yourself eating a bowl of popcorn and craving another bowl. You pause the movie and make yourself another bowl of the buttery snack. Are you addicted to food? It’s highly unlikely; you may just love the taste of popcorn. However, if you find yourself eating a bowl of popcorn and then a bowl of ice cream, followed by some cookies and potato chips, you may be addicted to food. Believe it or not, being addicted to food is a very common disorder. While it has always existed, it has only become more acknowledged and studied in recent years.
There are tons of reasons behind being addicted to food. And, there are many different ways that people are addicted to food. Perhaps it is the compulsion that races through you and makes you feel like indulging in those comforting foods or maybe it’s the paranoia of gaining weight that makes you want to avoid any forms of foods. All of those trains of thought are forms of being addicted to food. Being addicted to food is actually simply defined as an obsessive preoccupation with food. That compulsion could easily lead to a variety of eating disorders. Most people think of bulimia and anorexia as the only forms of eating disorders. And, those same individuals probably don’t have a clue that those people who struggle with those eating disorders actually are addicted to food. They may not be addicted to food in the same manner that a person defined as an overeater would be. Those people who struggle with bulimia and anorexia are obsessed with food – just in a different way than those who indulge in overeating. Perhaps it is a way to gain some sort of control in their out of control lives. It may be very well hidden or it may be blatantly obvious to people around them. Most likely, a large amount of those who would be defined as being addicted to food are either blatantly obvious or incredibly secretive about it.
There is help for those who are addicted to food. It isn’t simply as easy as going on a diet. There is typically an underlying reason for being addicted to food. Whether it is about control, or feeling out of control in life, or there is another reason for the addiction, it needs to be treated the same way that other addictions are treated. The underlying reason needs to be uncovered and dealt with in a healthy and positive manner. If you struggle with being addicted to food, do yourself a favor and seek some help in treating this common problem. If you know someone who struggles with being addicted or obsessed with food – whether it be overeating or lack of eating, do them a favor and see if you can make a difference in their lives. It may not be welcomed from them, at first, but you could be the one who is credited with their future turning point.