What is Food Addiction

addiction to foodFood addiction is when a person compulsively eats more food than their body needs. There can be a number of things that inspire a food addiction, such as mental, emotional, psychological, behavioral, social, biological and environmental factors. Regardless of the reason for the food addiction, it is highly probable that it will cause health risks to the addict if left untreated. Physical risks may include heart disease, obesity and digestive issues. It is highly beneficial to the health of the addict to seek counseling or rehabilitation in order to end their food addiction and resume a healthy diet.

When a food addiction is biological, it is the chemistry of the person’s neural network that is causing them to compulsively overeat. Food addictions can be genetic or can be a brain abnormality, which are simply things a person is born with. A hormone imbalance, whether temporary or permanent, can be responsible for a food addiction, and various medications can cause food addiction as a side effect. Not everyone’s food addiction is caused by mental and emotional factors.

A majority of food addiction cases are, however, spawned by psychological factors. If the addict grew up in an environment of compulsive overeating, they could be modeling the behavior of those who raised them. Emotional scarring can be a huge contributor to a food addiction. Because food gives the brain feelings of pleasure, a person may overeat in an attempt to cope with something unpleasurable that happened to them. Some of these emotional scars may be buried in the person’s subconscious where only a mental health professional can treat them. If you or someone you care about has a food addiction and is not able to control it on their own, it is wise to seek the help of a professional counselor or addiction specialist. Food addictions are treatable and manageable, but can do irreparable harm to a person’s health if they persist.