-By A. Scott Roberts
M.S. Rehabilitation Counseling
Research from the Society for the Study of Digestive Behavior found that people can become dependent on highly refined and sugary foods which leads to uncontrollable consumption. Obviously, compulsive behavior and uncontrollable consumption are flagrant characteristics of alcohol and drug addiction.
Additionally, researchers at Yale University assessed men and women that struggled with obesity using substance abuse criteria. They discovered that both men and women with obesity had substantial tolerance, withdrawal and dependance issues. Furthermore, studies show that both men and women with obesity continued to eat regardless of worsening consequences.1
Often, people labeled as "food addicts" also have food disorders such as binge-eating, as well as poor mental health including depression disorders. These food addicts reported that they "self-soothed" with food.
"These results strongly reinforce the view that food addiction is an identifiable condition with clinical symptoms, and is characterized by a psycho-behavioral profile that is similar to conventional drug-abuse disorders...The results also deliver much needed human support for the growing evidence of sugar and fat addiction in experimental animal research," Says Dr Davis.
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine found that the reason people become addicted to food and acquire eating disorders is because of the cellular activity in the limbic reward center. They found that immediate gratification is more prevalent in the eating disorders group explaining why they do things that they regret such as "saying something and later regretting the consequences."2
They also found that people who were unable to thought an impulsive response in an experiment, developed binge eating and heightened cravings and loss of control. These people were unable to evaluate the negative consequences of overrating. Researches found that impulsive participants in this experiment had increased activity in the brain's reward center, which spiked dopamine, which explains "a biological component of this behavior."3 Again, addiction has a biochemcial underpinning.
Biologically, even impulsive behviors could have assisted our ancestors in the survival process to stack up in high calorie foods, when available. Yet today, with so many high-calorie foods at our disposal, we feed the impulsion.
"While impulsivity might have aided ancestors to choose calorie-rich foods when food was scarce, our study results suggest that, in today's calorie-rich environment, impulsivity promotes pathological overeating." (Source: Pietro Cottone / Neuropsychopharmacology)
The best way to manage impulsivity is to use a method that addresses the compulsive component. In the Truth Of Addiction system, there is something called the "4 Step System" which shows you how to get the brain out of impulsivity and habit loops.
-A. Scott Roberts, M.S. Rehabilitation Counseling