Sunday, December 28, 2008

[Guest Post] Food For Thought--Are You Addicted?


Can you eat your way to happiness?

(This article is contributed by Sarah Scrafford, who regularly writes on the topic of Becoming an Ultrasound Technician. She invites your questions, comments and freelancing job inquiries at her email address: sarah.scrafford25@gmail.com.)


Food is essential for life, but there are times when it becomes the reason for death. If you’ve heard of addictions, you’ll know what I’m talking about – addictions and substance dependence extend beyond the realm of drugs, nicotine and alcohol. There are times when it can become as simple, and as complicated, as being addicted to food. Some people have a sweet tooth and get their rush from sugar; others limit themselves to chocolate; but there are a few people who need to eat all the time – they eat when they’re sad and when they’re happy; they eat because food is available; they eat because they’re bored; they eat because they’re stressed; in short, they eat all possible reasons and for no reason at all.

Too much of anything is bad for you, and so you have food and eating related disorders. The compulsive eaters are beset with various medical problems, all of which begin and end with obesity. Large people with fat deposits on various parts of their body are prone to illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, stroke and cardiac diseases. They’re also bound to be in poor general health because of their low level of fitness and sedentary lifestyle that comes about automatically when you’re fat and unable to move around without difficulty. Besides these, they’re also plagued by knee and back pains because of their weight – their knees are unable to support their body weight and become weak as time goes by.

On the other end of the spectrum are those obsessed with thinness – they love to eat too, but they do it on the sly. And when they’re done, they make themselves throw up either by retching or by using emetics. This disease, called bulimia, is characteristic of food addicts who feel guilty that they eat so much, and who are scared of the weight they’re going to put on because of the amount they’ve consumed. Bulimics are prone to binge eating, where they eat much more than normal amounts.

The best cure to an eating disorder or food addiction is self-control, and if you cannot control yourself, then get someone to help you do so. De-addiction from alcohol, tobacco or any other drug happens when you avoid the substance altogether, but it’s not that easy to overcome an addiction to something that’s a basic necessity for life. The trick is to learn to count your calories or to get someone to do it for you. You could also begin a sensible exercise routine where you concentrate on losing weigh in a healthy manner. A more active lifestyle gives you less time to sit around doing nothing, and so frequenting the path between your couch and your refrigerator.

Food addiction, like all other addictions, is a psychological problem that can be cured if treated at an early stage. All you need is a lot of will power and a little determination.

2 comments:

TheVicar said...

"All you need is a lot of will power and a little determination."
I found the above statement to be of no help to the dependent or addicted. In fact it is shows so little understanding of the various conditions as to be not only harmful but insulting and shameful. Please get some education (facts) before you post again. You can start at http://www.nida.nih.gov/scienceofaddiction/health.html provided by the NIH.

Alice said...

Hahaha, I agree completely with the above statement. I am late to the game in posting, but your "information" posted here on will-powering your way to recovery is so heavily laden with judgement and naiveté it is indeed harmful for those few searching for constructive solutions. Please research at least some potentially causal factors such as: reward pathways testing, ADHD-addiction correlation, seratonin/dopamine release and vagus nerve regulation. Get back to all of us weaklings and un-disciplined bulimics when you figure it out ; )

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