Food Addiction Essay

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In a sense, we are all addicted to food. Think about what it feels like when you aren’t able to eat. You start to crave food, and become more physically and emotionally uncomfortable the longer the cravings go on for. At that point eating becomes the most important thing for you to do. This is the constant experience of people struggling with food addiction. An abundance of food changes nothing to an overeater’s appetite. Food is essential to survival, and unlike other addictive behaviors, it is normal to eat repeatedly every day, and even to look forward to eating for pleasure. Several characteristics separate normal eating from a food addiction or binge eating. When an addict’s binge begins they will experience a feeling of pleasure and the food may seem intensely tasty, but soon after they will have a feeling of disgust, shame and even physical pain. Many times they will take a bite of food, chomp down a couple of times and swallow without appropriately chewing it. Leaving food on the plate is very difficult. Left overs haunt them during sleep. They find themselves having to get up out of bed to eat. The addiction can become so intense the overeater will steal from friends, stores and even eat discarded food.
Food addiction is dysfunctional, although people overeat to feel better, it often ends up making them feel worse. Food addiction can threaten health, causing obesity, malnutrition, and mental health problems. People who overeat and have a food addiction eat too much food, often the wrong kinds of food, too much of the time. Binge eaters overeat every day, and they eat, not because they are hungry, but as their main way of dealing with struggles of life. Eating is a coping method. If they are unable to overe...

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...emely hungry, almost to the point of starvation. At that point they will consume anything and every edible product they can get there mouth around. Followed by vomiting or the use of laxatives, so as not to gain any weight. After purging, the individual with Bulimia Nervosa will feel guilt and shame, with worry of their mental and physical state. With promises to not repeat these actions, they will increase their diet restrictions. Because of the purging, people with Bulimia Nervosa are generally not overweight or obese (Ogden). It’s a very vicious cycle.
Before attempting to gain weight control, binge eating diagnoses must first treat the mental health issues that go along with the disorder (Kristeller and Wolever). Treatment will be much like treatment for alcoholism and narcotics. There is no cure for the Binge eating disorder. It’s with you for life.
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