100 lb. Club - proof Im not crazy and that food addiction is real!

04-05-2011, 04:55 PM
For a long time as I struggled with being 100lbs + overweight my doctors made me feel crazy for being what I called food addicted. Suggesting it was just willpower and good habit forming that I needed.

Well - even at 129lbs I struggle with food addiction and binge issues. And after reading this article I feel like science is catching up to what Ive known since childhood...food addiction is real and not that much different from drug addiction.

Definitely an interesting read: http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/04/04/food.drug.addiction.same.to.brain/index.html?npt=NP1

04-05-2011, 05:04 PM
I liked the part where they said when food addicts actually eat the food, they get less enjoyment from it (and therefore need to eat more) than normal people. I've always thought this. Although food addicts really love food, they don't slow down to taste it as much as other people do. Thin people who are real food lovers savor their food and taste it, and stop when they are full. Food addicts tend to eat more for the sake of eating.

04-05-2011, 05:27 PM
A recent study (November, I think) found sugar more addictive than cocaine.

Naive (untrained) rats when given a choice, chose sugar over cocaine

What was even more surprising - even cocaine-addicted rats chose sugar over cocaine.

The potential for sugar addiction may actually be hard-wired into most (and perhaps all omnivorous) animals. Even though genetic and environmental factors probable determine the strength and expression of that potential.

04-05-2011, 05:38 PM
I believe this with all my heart.

In my mind, when I'm thinking about my issues & how I've been coping with them, I even call it "my sobriety."

As in, "I want to stay sober another day. I do not want a casual slip-up to cause me to lose my hard-won sobriety."

I just wish the notion was more widely accepted, if only because that might stop people from pushing food long after we've made it clear that we do not want it. People who would **never** torture a recovering alcoholic by urging him or her to have a drink seem not to have the same scruples about urging someone abstaining from a particular food to indulge. Maybe they would if the analogy was clearer in their heads.

04-05-2011, 06:16 PM
There's a show I forgot what its on, but it's documenting people who struggle with food addiction. there's so much help for drug and alcohol addiction, but i do not believe there's not enough help for food addiction which is just as bad. i believe my mom is a food addict

04-05-2011, 06:36 PM
As others have mentioned, I think a lot of it is the perception of overweight just being weak and not really having a problem other than self control. No one sees pushing food as bad especially the uber fattening bad foods. It's everywhere, inescapable.

Even though I know being obese will shorten my life and lead to many life threatening health issues, it's so flippin' hard to control and most aren't supportive and it's taboo! Whereas my smoking addiction (quit many years ago) would have shorten my life and lead to life threatening complications but when people know you're trying to quit try to stand away to partake and congratulate you sincerely on your success.

The whole mindset needs to be altered to maybe help those struggling to make good choices day after day.

04-05-2011, 07:29 PM
I completely agree! Thank you for this.

Food is definitely an addiction. However, unlike alcohol, drugs and gambling, we can't exist without it. Yikes!

04-05-2011, 08:15 PM
Thanks for sharing the link.

I've been reading The End of Overeating (http://www.amazon.com/End-Overeating-Insatiable-American-Appetite/dp/B0048ELDCS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1302045195&sr=8-1) and it's very enlightening. It covers some of the same ideas as mentioned in the study.

Lori Bell
04-05-2011, 08:49 PM
I completely agree! Thank you for this.

Food is definitely an addiction. However, unlike alcohol, drugs and gambling, we can't exist without it. Yikes!

Oh but we CAN! ;)

We can live our entire lives without Sugar, corn syrup, refined flour and many other "addictive" carbs. We just don't want to give them up.

04-05-2011, 09:05 PM
i love lori bell.....she actually makes me go "hmmmmm shes right!" on most of her posts lol :)

04-05-2011, 09:22 PM
thanks for sharing this!
why do they only tested in women tho? or did i miss a part?
could also be hormones that affect us?

04-06-2011, 12:51 AM
Great Article!

04-06-2011, 03:08 AM
This all makes perfect sense and none of it surprised me.

I really hate how it's portrayed as a "female" or "womanly" addiction though. Perhaps females are biologically more susceptible to sugar addiction, but I suspect it's simply because generations of cultural bias and social reinforcement have hammered in the message that liking sweets too much is somehow inherently female.

I know quite a few men who suffer from sugar addiction and disordered eating/thinking, yet much like women of normal/healthy BMI, they are not taken seriously. In particular, my boyfriend was laughed at at a Children of Alcoholics meeting when he admitted that he used overeating sweets as a coping mechanism to deal with the stress of having an alcoholic parent.

04-06-2011, 07:03 PM
Carb addiction is definitely no respecter of gender, and it's not all about "sweet" addiction either.

We do tend to stereotype - Women are addicted to chocolate and pastries, and men are addicted to pizza, beer, and Doritos (still all mostly sugar).

I convinced myself that I wasn't carb-addicted, because sweets weren't my carb of choice. Neither were typical junk and fast food. For years, I even thought I was eating healthy (I just thought I was eating too much. I didn't realize that I had to change what/how I ate, not just how much).

I shopped in gourmet, ethnic, and health food stores, I ate in good to fine restaurants, and I did a lot of my own cooking. I ate tons of vegetables and fruits. I thought I ate "healthy" just way too much of healthy.

When I first started eating low-carb, I thought it was going to be easy, because I didn't think I had a big "sweet tooth." I was shocked to find out how many carbs and how much "hidden sugar" I was consuming. I liked sauces that were sweet, spicy, and tangy. I didn't realize that I might as well have melted a snickers bar over my shrimp than eat the sweet, spicy, garlicky, tangy "empress shrimp" at my favorite chinese restaurant.

We think of "sugar/carb addiction" as someone scarfing down candy bars or Doritos, not someone eating in expensive restaurants, shopping at health food stores, cooking gourmet meals at home...

Health food stores have just as much "junk" as standard super markets and grocery stores. Dried fruits (even when they're not loaded with added sugar) are essentially candy with a few more antioxidants thrown in. It's just as easy to overeat "unsweetened" dry fruit as it is candy. Even when sugar isn't added, it's concentrated by the drying process. Most fruit juices aren't much more nutritious than soda and kool-aid (most of the "good stuff" is strained out, and what's left is mostly sugar water).

I didn't realize until I read "The End of Overeating" that all of my "trigger foods" were the salt/fat/simple carb combinations.

I also learned that not all "complex" carbs are equally complex. Starches are technically complex carbs, but many are easily broken down into sugar. So easily, that they might as well have been made of pure sugar.

Finding slow-digesting carbs (and being careful with them) has been a challenge. I didn't realize how many "healthy" foods are essentially pure sugar.

04-06-2011, 09:09 PM
hmmmm. i was thinking about this and maybe they only used women to be more concise with their study cohort so that people cannot dis-credit their work based on too broad of a group or so that their results could be more tailored.

as there are sterotypes, it would be interesting to see if there is actually a difference between males and females. like to scientifically prove it!

04-07-2011, 11:54 AM
I am convinced that I am addicted to sugar/carbs. I don't think that it is a gender issue based on the men that I know.

04-07-2011, 11:49 PM
The whole mindset needs to be altered to maybe help those struggling to make good choices day after day.

Yes, I totally agree with this! A lot of time, the environment around us just makes it especially hard.

I'd like to log the number of times per week I'm offered a totally inappropriate food: pizza parties, cake, donuts, you name it. Usually in the name of celebration. And I have to keep saying no over and over again.

I know I have a lot more of a food issue than most people, but at the same time, get a group of middle-aged professionals in a room and usually the MAJORITY have weight problems. It's hard for everyone to say no, and it's even harder for people who struggle with food.