An article in yesterday's USA Today described a conference focused on determining if food has addictive qualities. Could food addiction be yet another cause of the obesity epidemic?
Overeaters Anonymous has long held this view; I attended OA meetings many years ago, and while we didn't say we were food addicts, as some narcotics addicts do, we identified ourselves as "compulsive overeaters."
[For the record, OA was helpful in many ways, but I didn't see much in the way of true recovery, if recovery was defined as weight loss. I no longer attend meetings.]
One of the researchers defines food addiction as:
"Eating too much despite consequences, even dire consequences to health; being preoccupied with food, food preparation and meals; trying and failing to cut back on food intake; feeling guilty about eating and overeating."
Um ... that would be me. And probably some of you, too.
Andrea quoted yesterday from Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now:
"Every addiction arises from an unconscious refusal to face and move through your own pain. Every addiction starts with pain and ends with pain. Whatever the substance you are addicted to -- alcohol, food, legal or illegal drugs, a person -- you are using something or somebody to cover up your pain. That is why, after the initial euphoria has passed, there is so much unhappiness, so much pain in intimate relationships. They do not cause pain and unhappiness. The bring out the pain and unhappiness that is already in you. Every addiction does that. Every addiction reaches a point where it does not work for you anymore, and then you feel the pain more intensely than ever."
So Tolle thinks food can be addictive. That paragraph really resonated with me.
What is it that keeps pushing me into the pantry? I don't think I have a lot of pain and unhappiness inside me. In fact, I think I'm pretty happy.
And why didn't I get addicted to running, instead of booze or food?
What do you think: Is food addiction real or not? Discuss.
Our phone lines are acting up, after very heavy storms last night, and I may not get back online until tomorrow morning. I hope you'll share your thoughts about this theory. I'm truly at a point where I think it has to be more than calories in/calories out.