The phrase food addition is often overused by people who occasionally overeat. However, the severity of an actual addition to food is real and has been shown to be similar to a drug or alcohol addiction. Food addiction is a compulsive need to eat. In food addiction, people eat to trigger the brain to release dopamine which makes them feel good. Like drugs, it takes more food to achieve the same effect, which leads to more eating. This vicious cycle often leads to negative life consequences. The following list of questions will help assess whether you truly have a food addiction, or not. If you feel as if you have a problem, seek help. There are many resources available that can help.
Do you end up eating more than originally anticipated?
Do you keep eating even when you are no longer hungry?
Do you constantly eat?
Do you eat at strange times such as the middle of the night?
Do you sneak food or hide the fact that you are eating from others?
Do you eat until you feel sick?
Are you overly worried or obsessed about eating or not eating certain things?
Are you preoccupied by when you will eat, how much you will eat, or what you will eat?
Do you go out of your way to get certain food items?
Is food interfering with your work or social life?
Do you use food as a reward or punishment?
Do you experience anxiety, depression, agitation, or other withdrawal symptoms when you can’t eat what you want or have to stop eating?
Does eating cause problems such as depression, anxiety, self- loathing or guilt? Does this lead to further overeating to ease the pain?
Does it take more food to make you feel better than it used to?
Have you repeatedly failed at gaining control over your eating habits?