People with addictive personalities can easily become impulsive when using many different substances, ranging from alcohol to caffeine, tobacco products, marijuana, prescription drugs and illegal drugs alike. Everyday habits also fall into the category of addiction now, with people becoming addicted to technologies, shopping, gambling, even sex.
Food doesn’t normally fall into this category, however, with over half the population of the United States considered overweight or obese, even food can now be considered addictive. Food is a particularly tricky addiction, because unlike alcohol or drugs it’s not something someone can completely cut out of their lives. People need a minimum amount of food and drink to stay alive. This means that treating food addiction is slightly different than treating other types of dependencies.
Humans Consume Massive Amounts of Food
Food addiction may affect those predisposed to addiction differently than the rest, though. Addictive personalities are owned by those who give in to their impulses. These types of people overindulge, sometimes in anything they can get their hands on. It is likely due to the additives found in many commercially produced foods, which have an abundance of extra sugars, use of white flours, and artificial sweeteners, that these people become “addicted.”
These products are made in mass quantities and are purchased and consumed by thousands of people on a daily basis. Humans also consume thousands of pounds of meat, dairy, eggs, and poultry on a regular basis.
Popular Foods Sometimes Contain Addictive Ingredients
The birth of the large corporation Coca-Cola can even be partially credited – due to the product containing small amounts of the addictive, now illegal drug, cocaine. The alluring qualities of many food products have been tested on the public for years. It is easy to believe the creators of such products are aware that these qualities are causing an increase in consumption because of the effects they seem to have on the body.
Heightened dopamine, the “feel good” chemical in the brain, is the result of consuming many snacks and foods. This is also the result drugs such as marijuana have on the brain. These alone can lead us to want more of these types of foods, including chocolate, meats, poultry, dairy, and legumes.
Addiction To Food Often Leads To Obesity
People with a food addiction tend to overeat also, increasing obesity risks and putting unnecessary strain on the digestive system. This leads to all types of health problems, ranging from diabetes to heart and even joint problems. The addictive personality has no control over cravings of these things. Whatever the drug of choice may be at the time, addictive personalities continually choose to abuse it.
Perhaps the best way addictive personalities can cope with a food addiction, is training themselves to crave healthy food instead of unhealthy. This way they can indulge their food cravings, while not constantly teetering on the edge of obesity.
Food, just like anything else, can be extremely unhealthy when used in extremes. The increase in the availability of cheap processed foods only continues this negative cycle of overeating.
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Jane Greeley is committed to helping people break free from addiction including food, learn more about her work and her company Addiction Treatment Advisors.