Food addiction is an eating disorder that manifests itself as a craving in many ways similar to being an alcoholic. Virtually every aspect of living revolves around food just as an alcoholic cannot wait for the next drink.
To the addict life is hardly worth living without the substance they are dependent upon.
In some cases addiction is inherited, the syndrome is passed on in the genes through the generations.
The only difference being the substance of the addiction.
An alcoholic parent may pass down a craving for food leading to the child having a drug habit or becoming a heavy chain smoker. Often an addiction manifests itself at a young age although obviously drugs or alcohol will not be available, food is ever present virtually from the cradle.
To a food addict nothing matters but food, most will have a dependency on maybe only two or three types of food such as French fries, very sweet desserts, cakes and pastries or ice creamÂ´.
Whatever the food craving they all seem to result in the addict becoming grossly overweight and unattractive resulting in low self-esteem, depression and ill health.
Children hooked on food suffer from the taunts and teasing of their fellow school children and often bullying is a result. Sadly there are cases where an addicted and overweight child can no longer put up with the situation and will commit suicide to escape.
It is the responsibility of parents when they see the warning signs in a child to take every possible step to wean them away from overeating and into a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Regrettably it is often the parents themselves who sow the seeds of eating disorders in their children by taking the easy way out with ready made and easy to prepare unhealthy meals, and putting potato chips (crisps in the UK) chocolate and candy bars and other Â´off the shelfÂ´ food items in their school lunch boxes.
Add to this that there are parents who do not encourage their offspring to participate in exercise, sport or other healthy outdoor pursuits and prefer them to be sitting in front of the TV or playing computer games so that they are Â´ out of sight, out of mindÂ´
A situation that can trigger a binge eating disorder.
As a food addict gets older so does their awareness of their situation become more distressing, some will hide away from public view and never leave their home, others will try and try again to diet, but the hardest of all is to admit to themselves that they have a serious and life threatening problem.
Just like an alcoholic, if they can face up to their addiction then there is hope that it can be beaten. The difficulty is that, unlike a craving for alcohol, cigarettes or drugs, we cannot live without food so temptation is always present.
One answer is to try to discover what foods make you crave for more and then never ever expose yourself to them until you feel you sufficient self control to master your desire for one more taste.
Dieting alone does not seem to be a permanent solution to the problem, indeed in some cases it can exacerbate it, and lead to even greater binge eating episodes when the will and resolve to fight the addiction caves in.
There are support groups similar to the world wide â€œAlcoholics Anonymousâ€ in most western cities and many hospitals have an in patient department to treat food addiction.
Treat so called miracle weight loss pills and potions with extreme caution and if in doubt seek medical opinion before undertaking such a course of action.
The cure could do you more damage than the addiction.
There are helpful books available and a number of websites that offer unbiased advice so seek out as much help as you can.
The last ditch is invasive surgery but that should only happen under qualified medical supervision.
Before going to those lengths try to admit to yourself that you have a problem, imagine how good you are going to look when you shed all that surplus weight, identify the trigger foods and keep well clear and above all find the willpower and resolve to adjust to a normal healthy life.
Category: Weight Issues