While it may be difficult to ever imagine comparing food and drugs, the difference in how people interact and react to each is not so different after all. People who suffer from food addiction exhibit some of the same behaviors and chemical reactions in their body as a drug addict.
Scientists are finding that food addiction begins in the brain. Here, there are chemical surges that affect a person’s response to food. These surges are very similar to those that occur with substance abuse.
In a 2019 Yale study, scientists monitored the brain activity of 48 women who were shown, then given, a chocolate milkshake. Brain imaging showed increased activity in regions that govern cravings and decreasing in area responsible for curbing urges. The researchers said this neural activity was similar to that of drug addicts.
If you find yourself struggling with your weight and can’t seem to change your eating habits, there is the possibility that you have an addiction to food. One of the biggest problems in people’s efforts to lose weight is that they look outwards for solutions, when in reality much of the problems are mental and need to be dealt with internally. Otherwise, you are very unlikely to come up with long-term solutions to your weight problems.
There are many symptoms associated with food addiction. If you answer yes to any of these you my consider consulting a medical professional:
1. Do you lack self-control with when and how much you eat?
2. When you experience emotional ups or downs, do you turn to food?
3. Do you feel guilt or shame after eating?
4. Do you eat, even when not hungry?
5. Do you eat until you get sick?
6. Do you hide food and eat in secret?
Food addicts may experience various physical symptoms such as headaches, insomnia, irritability, mood changes, and depression. If you answered yes to one or more of these questions and think you have a food addiction, you should consult a medical professional for a more in-depth examination.