Food Addiction

Eating disorders, or "Food Addiction" are not about food. They are about an unhealthy relationship between an individual and a mood altering process involving food. Eating disorders are addictive illnesses and are progressive in nature. "Food Addiction" can take on several forms: anorexia, bulimia and compulsive overeating.

People with these disorders engage in behaviors such as bingeing, purging, restricting, overeating, calorie counting, excessive exercise, abuse of diuretics, etc., in order to feel normal and/or to alter their moods.

Behaviors associated with food addiction are similar to those of other addictions, such as chemical dependency. Among these may be:

  • Loss of control
  • Unsuccessful efforts to cut down or stop the behavior
  • A great deal of time spent think about food or engaging in the behavior
  • Continuing the behavior despite related consequences
  • Withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, headaches and restlessness
  • A need for increased amounts of the substance
  • Changes in social, occupational, or recreational activities as a result of the behavior

Physical Consequences of Anorexia

  • Liver and kidney problems
  • Metabolic changes
  • Bone changes
  • Damage to hormonal systems

Physical Consequences of Bulimia

  • Esophageal tearing
  • Dental damage
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Heart failure

Physical Consequences of Compulsive Overeating

  • Hypertension
  • Stroke
  • Varicose veins
  • Heart attack