Wait, you don’t need to stop crunching on that potato chip! You also don’t need to hide your chocolate bar and start shaming yourself because you read my headline.
In my recent article and video, I continue to “weigh” the evidence for and against labeling food as an addiction. My goal is to provide you with the latest information on this topic before you jump on any bandwagon that may make your life more restrictive and punishing.
Whether unintentionally or for personal gain, many wellness and diet communities have been promoting restrictive eating practices. Furthermore, at a time of intense scrutiny in other areas of stigma, body size prejudice and substandard medical care based on weight biases is rampant.
Due to the fact that our society is normalizing disordered eating behaviors and healthcare and wellness communities are likely contributing to them, it is important to have a clear view of why this subject is so controversial and “hot.”
Therefore, in my post and video, I first get you up to speed by recapping my series on eating disorders so far. I highlight (1) the context we are in, which is diet and wellness culture, and (2) the initial overview from part I on the pros and cons of food addiction.
With that in mind, I have done my best to summarize three of the current major sticking points in the food addiction theory. These are:
- The issue of distinguishing between food addiction and other eating disorders. This would lead to different treatments.
- The fact that the definition of “food addiction” has not yet been agreed upon among experts.
- The conflicting evidence between mechanisms, theories, and associations of food addiction in studies versus actual human trial results.
Click here to get more of the details and access to the research articles I reviewed on “food addiction.”
To be transparent, my bias is very much cautionary on labeling food or eating behaviors as an addiction. Unlike a substance of abuse, food is essential for life.
I also feel incredible psychological damage can be done with moralizing food choices and that health and wellness incorporate so much more than diet and exercise.
What do you think?
With all this focus on dietary control and food shaming, personally, I must wonder:
Does our society really have a food addiction problem, or a soul sickness that is acting out and screaming for attention?
Focusing on food is much less scary than dealing with an uncertain world that frightens the heck out of us.
Please share your thoughts in the comments and let’s have a conversation.
In a follow-up article, I hope to finish off this topic and move onto eating disorders.
I do ask all healthcare providers to be aware of the potential dangers of mental health labels and to not confuse opinion and selected literature citations as final proof. The science and psychology is not fully settled at the time of my writing this. Let’s recognize this and be accountable.
For all consumers, please know you are not alone. If you are struggling with eating and it is causing you distress and to miss out on events because of the food there, please reach out to an eating disorder specialist. Preferably, find one who is also awake to the dangers of diet and wellness culture and will not perpetuate the sick cycle.
Please comment below and share this message with those who need it.
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If you struggle with mental health, please reach out for professional mental health support.
You may also wish to consider implementing holistic resources and partnering with a naturopathic doctor.
For example, I offer mind-body support for general mood issues using a functional medicine and wellness-oriented approach.
This material is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness. You should check with your doctor regarding implementing any new strategies into your wellness regime. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. (Affiliation link.)
This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic quality essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been tested for purity and standardized constituents. There is no quality control in the United States, and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only to contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin. The studies are not based solely on a specific brand of an essential oil, unless stated. Please read the full study for more information.