with food can involve uncontrollable craving for foods containing
refined carbohydrates, primarily sugar and flour substances. These foods are
metabolized and turned into sugar in the bloodstream. Research shows that for
some people, this affects the same pleasure and reward centers of the brain
that are triggered by addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin. When people
experience the increased dopamine transmission in the brain from eating these
foods, they feel the need to eat again.
Signs & Symptoms
obsessions can include:
- Food cravings
- A disturbed body image
- Binge eating
- Shame or fear about food
The pleasure rewards of eating highly palatable foods may override signals
of fullness and satisfaction. Some keep eating, even though they are not hungry.
Some people experience discomfort at no-food occasions. They avoid discussion
when food, eating or weight comes up, sometimes changing the subject to another
Tips & Recommendations
People with food obsessions may actually have neurochemical or hormonal imbalances
that trigger sugar and carb cravings. Recovery is based on making appropriate
food choices on a daily basis, with ongoing vigilance on making food selections
that are free of substances that will trigger the cravings.
Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTS) can help you manage your feelings and
cope with your distress.