What is Food Addiction?

Renae Nicole
6 min readMay 13
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Definition

WebMD

“Compulsive overeating is a type of behavioral addiction meaning that someone can become preoccupied with a behavior (such as eating, or gambling, or shopping) that triggers intense pleasure. People with food addictions lose control over their eating behavior and find themselves spending excessive amounts of time involved with food and overeating, or anticipating the emotional effects of compulsive overeating.”

Medical News Today

  • “The addictive potential of certain foods, such as those with high levels of carbohydrates or fat, qualifies food addiction as a substance use disorder.
  • Researchers have not identified a specific substance that triggers addiction, such as the nicotine in cigarettes, in potentially ‘addictive’ foods. This means that eating addiction is behavioral and not related to a substance.
  • Neither of the above holds scientific weight, and even if they did, diagnosing compulsive eating as a food addiction would not be clinically helpful.”

Addictions.com

“Food addiction is a disease similar to drug or alcohol addiction in which a chemical reaction in the brain is triggered by a certain behavior. With food addiction, the behavior that triggers the reaction is eating a particular food or a particular amount of food. This addiction manifests itself in the uncontrollable cravings that one has for excessive eating and typically involves eating salty, sugary or carbohydrate rich foods for satisfaction.”

Food addiction speculates that certain foods trigger similar pleasure pathways in the brain that addictive drugs trigger, causing addiction to salty, sugary, or carbohydrate-rich foods.

Diagnosis Criteria

Food addiction isn’t recognized by the DSM-5 and has no formal diagnostic criteria.

Yale Food Addiction Scale

https://www.midss.org/sites/default/files/yale_food_addiction_scale.pdf

Symptoms

Medical News Today

“The symptoms of food addiction can be physical, emotional, and social. These symptoms include:

Renae Nicole

Certified Personal Trainer | Health Coach | Nutrition Coach | Worldview: Christianity