Myfitnesspal

Message Boards Debate: Health and Fitness
You are currently viewing the message boards in:

Why Is Food "Addiction" So Controversial?

1234568

Replies

  • 33gail3333gail33 Member Posts: 580 Member Member Posts: 580 Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    33gail33 wrote: »
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    There's just no mechanism whereby one could be addicted to sugar and have it manifest as a problem with specific types of sweets (in most cases also containing fat and various other ingredients) and not fruit. And if it is an issue with fruit, one could still mostly mitigate any problems by just switching to fruit and making sure to also eat a balanced diet.

    That's why I see the question of "sugar addiction" or, say, "cheese addiction" as different from the broader question of whether there can be a food/eating addiction (or perhaps more properly "food/eating disorder," with it recognized that has similarities to other use disorders).

    I think this is relevant since it might have something to say about how to address habits of overeating specific foods, which are very common, even when the foods in question aren't sugary.

    I'm open to trying to understand why claiming that "sugar" is the problem is perceived as helpful, however, and wonder if those who perceive themselves as addicted to sugar think they ought to quit eating sugar, because of how detrimental it is to their lives.

    For me, whether or not one can give up something for a relatively short period of time is less related to the question of whether it's an addiction as what happens when one is consuming/using whatever it is -- how that affects the overall life. I love naan with curry and when I eat it I have trouble sticking to my plan to eat just a small amount and have basically given up on even trying to do that, but that has no negative effects on my life (other than occasionally some regret after). On the contrary, when I was activity drinking to excess regularly (and IMO was struggling with alcohol addiction), I could quit it for periods of time, and did. In fact, one year I quit it for Lent. But the problem was I'd always go back, and when I was drinking I was really screwing up my life in all kinds of significant ways related to my obsession with alcohol. I think that does happen with eating disorders too, at least at the extreme, but rarely is it limited to specific food items from what I've seen/read.

    It's interesting because a few people have pointed out the sugar/fruit thing - so like you can't be addicted to sugar because otherwise you would over eat fruit etc. But the study analysis that I linked earlier (below) came to the opposite conclusion. That the substance was the more important component in the equation, rather than the behaviour. Basically how I am reading this is that they concluded that the addiction is to certain (highly palatable) foods, and not to eating itself.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5946262/

    "The results of the current systematic review generally support the validity of food addiction as a diagnostic construct, particularly as it relates to foods high in added sweeteners and refined ingredients. The majority of studies in the current review reported evidence for symptoms related to neurological changes and impaired control, with fewer studies evaluating preoccupation, chronicity, relapse, social impairment, and risky use. Behavioral and substance-related aspects of food addiction appear to be intertwined, but we suggest that the substance (highly-palatable food) component may be more salient to the diagnostic classification of this phenomenon than the behavior (eating). We propose that the food addiction construct merits serious attention in regard to its presentation, prevention, and treatment in humans."

    I think the claim that highly palatable foods are "addictive" is separate from and actually quite different from the claim that "sugar" is addictive (and so called highly palatable foods aren't inherently sugary -- I know pizza scores high on many of those tests and french fries (potatoes with fat and salt) score high whereas plain potatoes (mostly carbs) score very low). From your cite: "The evidence further suggests that certain foods, particularly processed foods with added sweeteners and fats, demonstrate the greatest addictive potential. Though both behavioral and substance-related factors are implicated in the addictive process, symptoms appear to better fit criteria for substance use disorder than behavioral addiction." (I.e., it is not about sugar per se.)

    I don't actually think the highly palatable idea is well-supported/convincing either -- studies are all over the place and the ones I have found most convincing tend to focus on the eating behavior, and other factors that tend to result in losses of control around foods (i.e., this can happen because you decide you cannot eat a food and then when you do have an all or nothing response). The hyper palatable concept basically is that people report such foods as harder to control and more pleasurable, which is not all that surprising (even if I personally think many of them aren't nearly as tasty as foods that aren't supposed to be hyper palatable). But is having a desire to overeat something because it tastes super good to you "addiction"? I think that's a misnomer, although I do think it is relevant to why people tend to overeat. (Although I do think that eating such foods a lot may well cause one to crave them, something that can be changed by changing the palate by eating different foods. One could argue that that's addiction, although most of the time it seems to fall far short of what is normally characterized as a "use disorder.")

    I would expect that people who want to eat gravitate toward foods they find extra palatable when those are available, sure, and that those are therefore often the foods that get associated with eating for comfort or various other eating behaviors that can easily become disordered in some way. And I would also agree that to some extent hyperpalatability may overwhelm your sense of fullness in a way that foods that one finds less rewarding (or which take more time to eat, often) will not. But is that analogous to the types of things that relate to a "use disorder"? It can be, but I think it gets used quite casually normally, and not strictly in that way, and I think it ignores the fact that binge eating disorder will often involve whatever foods are around (hyperpalatable or no) and the like with some of the super morbidly obese people who seem to be giving up everything for food/eating -- it's probably not just if the food is extra palatable. But this is all a separate question, the main point is the "it's extra palatable foods" thing doesn't support "sugar addiction."

    One question I would ask, and I'm undecided, is assuming that food/eating can be part of an addictive chain, which I think it certainly could be, why would it most commonly be manifested through so called hyper palatable foods (which are not limited to sugary ones and could certainly be traditional comfort foods like buttery mashed potatoes, say)? Is it because the foods themselves are so addictive? Or is it because food is pleasurable/comforting and if seeking pleasure/comfort one would likely seek out the most desirable foods in one's mind, and then the habit that forms tends to be related to those foods even if other ones (eating more generally) could do if those were not available? I suspect the latter, and therefore that it is not addiction to a specific substance or even the non substance that is "hyper palatable."

    I'm not sure this matters, I just find it interesting. I think my current theory is that there's some combination of a behavior and substance addiction (which I'd argue is the same with alcohol too), but that you can't fence of any such problem as being 100% limited to so-called hyperpalatable foods, and if someone had a significant issue and they were unavailable, I bet other foods would be alternatives.

    Question for you: if we did determine that hyperpalatable foods have the potential for addiction in a way that other foods do not (including sugar-filled foods like fruit, say!), what do you think this would mean? That the solution is to give up 100% hyperpalatable foods?

    Re: the bolded section. Couldn't you say the same about alcohol though? Except in cases of physical dependence isn't this the mechanism for all addiction?
  • ahoy_m8ahoy_m8 Member Posts: 2,303 Member Member Posts: 2,303 Member
    I am going to disagree with the findings in that paper on 2 points. Here they are:

    1) I have not felt a strong dopamine rush in response to anticipating a highly palatable food, but I have felt it with alcohol so I know how that feels and I do not doubt some people feel it with certain foods. The crazy thing about it is the dopamine release happens before, in anticipation of, the reward.

    Hence, IME, it is not the substance itself, it is the anticipation of it that triggers brain chemicals. I think THAT is the phenomenon these paper authors are observing. And the specific reward that triggers the response can be different for different people. For me it might be chardonnay. For you it might be oreos. But the anticipatory dopamine rush is similar, and that is what the dudes are observing.

    2) To the assertion that the substance matters more than the eating behavior for diagnosis, that may be true in a narrow set of cases these dudes examined but it I reject the idea that it applies to all cases. Any of us who have experienced a binge (raises hand) have experienced scarfing anything at hand -- anything -- to shove in the maw. That behavior is certainly disordered. And it is not limited to a specific substance.

    So here I apologize in advance for repeating myself in this thread. I think the controversial thing is the word addiction. DSM authors must agree because they replaced the word with "disorder" and defined a spectrum of behaviors (IMU). Some of the behaviors may look similar if not identical across eating disorders and substance use disorders. But other behaviors that reach into the extremes of destructiveness are the unique provence of substance use disorders. I really do think drugs/alcohol have a far more powerful impact on brain chemistry than dopamine alone which is the main thing going on with food responses.

    ETA: the dopamine pathway explanation makes sense for other behavioral "addictions" like gambling and porn. They light up the brain's reward circuits but obviously there is no intake of a substance/food that acts on brain chemistry. No doubt these compulsive behaviors have had ruinous consequences on lives.
    edited February 26
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Member Posts: 7,096 Member Member Posts: 7,096 Member
    33gail33 wrote: »
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    33gail33 wrote: »
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    There's just no mechanism whereby one could be addicted to sugar and have it manifest as a problem with specific types of sweets (in most cases also containing fat and various other ingredients) and not fruit. And if it is an issue with fruit, one could still mostly mitigate any problems by just switching to fruit and making sure to also eat a balanced diet.

    That's why I see the question of "sugar addiction" or, say, "cheese addiction" as different from the broader question of whether there can be a food/eating addiction (or perhaps more properly "food/eating disorder," with it recognized that has similarities to other use disorders).

    I think this is relevant since it might have something to say about how to address habits of overeating specific foods, which are very common, even when the foods in question aren't sugary.

    I'm open to trying to understand why claiming that "sugar" is the problem is perceived as helpful, however, and wonder if those who perceive themselves as addicted to sugar think they ought to quit eating sugar, because of how detrimental it is to their lives.

    For me, whether or not one can give up something for a relatively short period of time is less related to the question of whether it's an addiction as what happens when one is consuming/using whatever it is -- how that affects the overall life. I love naan with curry and when I eat it I have trouble sticking to my plan to eat just a small amount and have basically given up on even trying to do that, but that has no negative effects on my life (other than occasionally some regret after). On the contrary, when I was activity drinking to excess regularly (and IMO was struggling with alcohol addiction), I could quit it for periods of time, and did. In fact, one year I quit it for Lent. But the problem was I'd always go back, and when I was drinking I was really screwing up my life in all kinds of significant ways related to my obsession with alcohol. I think that does happen with eating disorders too, at least at the extreme, but rarely is it limited to specific food items from what I've seen/read.

    It's interesting because a few people have pointed out the sugar/fruit thing - so like you can't be addicted to sugar because otherwise you would over eat fruit etc. But the study analysis that I linked earlier (below) came to the opposite conclusion. That the substance was the more important component in the equation, rather than the behaviour. Basically how I am reading this is that they concluded that the addiction is to certain (highly palatable) foods, and not to eating itself.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5946262/

    "The results of the current systematic review generally support the validity of food addiction as a diagnostic construct, particularly as it relates to foods high in added sweeteners and refined ingredients. The majority of studies in the current review reported evidence for symptoms related to neurological changes and impaired control, with fewer studies evaluating preoccupation, chronicity, relapse, social impairment, and risky use. Behavioral and substance-related aspects of food addiction appear to be intertwined, but we suggest that the substance (highly-palatable food) component may be more salient to the diagnostic classification of this phenomenon than the behavior (eating). We propose that the food addiction construct merits serious attention in regard to its presentation, prevention, and treatment in humans."

    I think the claim that highly palatable foods are "addictive" is separate from and actually quite different from the claim that "sugar" is addictive (and so called highly palatable foods aren't inherently sugary -- I know pizza scores high on many of those tests and french fries (potatoes with fat and salt) score high whereas plain potatoes (mostly carbs) score very low). From your cite: "The evidence further suggests that certain foods, particularly processed foods with added sweeteners and fats, demonstrate the greatest addictive potential. Though both behavioral and substance-related factors are implicated in the addictive process, symptoms appear to better fit criteria for substance use disorder than behavioral addiction." (I.e., it is not about sugar per se.)

    I don't actually think the highly palatable idea is well-supported/convincing either -- studies are all over the place and the ones I have found most convincing tend to focus on the eating behavior, and other factors that tend to result in losses of control around foods (i.e., this can happen because you decide you cannot eat a food and then when you do have an all or nothing response). The hyper palatable concept basically is that people report such foods as harder to control and more pleasurable, which is not all that surprising (even if I personally think many of them aren't nearly as tasty as foods that aren't supposed to be hyper palatable). But is having a desire to overeat something because it tastes super good to you "addiction"? I think that's a misnomer, although I do think it is relevant to why people tend to overeat. (Although I do think that eating such foods a lot may well cause one to crave them, something that can be changed by changing the palate by eating different foods. One could argue that that's addiction, although most of the time it seems to fall far short of what is normally characterized as a "use disorder.")

    I would expect that people who want to eat gravitate toward foods they find extra palatable when those are available, sure, and that those are therefore often the foods that get associated with eating for comfort or various other eating behaviors that can easily become disordered in some way. And I would also agree that to some extent hyperpalatability may overwhelm your sense of fullness in a way that foods that one finds less rewarding (or which take more time to eat, often) will not. But is that analogous to the types of things that relate to a "use disorder"? It can be, but I think it gets used quite casually normally, and not strictly in that way, and I think it ignores the fact that binge eating disorder will often involve whatever foods are around (hyperpalatable or no) and the like with some of the super morbidly obese people who seem to be giving up everything for food/eating -- it's probably not just if the food is extra palatable. But this is all a separate question, the main point is the "it's extra palatable foods" thing doesn't support "sugar addiction."

    One question I would ask, and I'm undecided, is assuming that food/eating can be part of an addictive chain, which I think it certainly could be, why would it most commonly be manifested through so called hyper palatable foods (which are not limited to sugary ones and could certainly be traditional comfort foods like buttery mashed potatoes, say)? Is it because the foods themselves are so addictive? Or is it because food is pleasurable/comforting and if seeking pleasure/comfort one would likely seek out the most desirable foods in one's mind, and then the habit that forms tends to be related to those foods even if other ones (eating more generally) could do if those were not available? I suspect the latter, and therefore that it is not addiction to a specific substance or even the non substance that is "hyper palatable."

    I'm not sure this matters, I just find it interesting. I think my current theory is that there's some combination of a behavior and substance addiction (which I'd argue is the same with alcohol too), but that you can't fence of any such problem as being 100% limited to so-called hyperpalatable foods, and if someone had a significant issue and they were unavailable, I bet other foods would be alternatives.

    Question for you: if we did determine that hyperpalatable foods have the potential for addiction in a way that other foods do not (including sugar-filled foods like fruit, say!), what do you think this would mean? That the solution is to give up 100% hyperpalatable foods?

    Re: the bolded section. Couldn't you say the same about alcohol though? Except in cases of physical dependence isn't this the mechanism for all addiction?

    Yeah, sure, to some extent, although I largely agree with ahoy_m8 too (and I don't think dependence is particularly important). I think you are missing the distinction I'm trying to make (probably my fault).

    I'm saying that food is comforting and pleasurable, so has the potential to be addictive same as many other things.

    On average, people likely gravitate to foods that are easily available (which tend to be hyperpalatable ones) and ones that stand out in their minds as super delicious (same), especially within the context of our culture. So, those tend to be the ones they gravitate to. When those aren't available, though, I suspect they could get the same response from other foods (or eating activity, whichever it is -- I think a combination), so they could use those. Also, assuming a world where none of these supposedly hyperpalatable foods existed, could the same type of addiction response happen under the right circumstances? I think so, because -- again -- food and eating is comforting and pleasurable.

    Thus, is it really that the addiction is a response to hyperpalatable foods specifically or just that for understandable reasons given our specific society that they tend to be the foods that people with these types of food issues will gravitate to, but that others would also work as well given the right circumstances (or the absence of other easily available foods)?

    (This is setting aside the fact that of course many people have trouble moderating or occasionally overeat specific foods they enjoy without it meeting the threshold of the kind of use disorder that we are discussing and focusing on those who do meet that threshold.)
    edited February 26
  • ahoy_m8ahoy_m8 Member Posts: 2,303 Member Member Posts: 2,303 Member
    33gail33 wrote: »
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    33gail33 wrote: »
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    There's just no mechanism whereby one could be addicted to sugar and have it manifest as a problem with specific types of sweets (in most cases also containing fat and various other ingredients) and not fruit. And if it is an issue with fruit, one could still mostly mitigate any problems by just switching to fruit and making sure to also eat a balanced diet.

    That's why I see the question of "sugar addiction" or, say, "cheese addiction" as different from the broader question of whether there can be a food/eating addiction (or perhaps more properly "food/eating disorder," with it recognized that has similarities to other use disorders).

    I think this is relevant since it might have something to say about how to address habits of overeating specific foods, which are very common, even when the foods in question aren't sugary.

    I'm open to trying to understand why claiming that "sugar" is the problem is perceived as helpful, however, and wonder if those who perceive themselves as addicted to sugar think they ought to quit eating sugar, because of how detrimental it is to their lives.

    For me, whether or not one can give up something for a relatively short period of time is less related to the question of whether it's an addiction as what happens when one is consuming/using whatever it is -- how that affects the overall life. I love naan with curry and when I eat it I have trouble sticking to my plan to eat just a small amount and have basically given up on even trying to do that, but that has no negative effects on my life (other than occasionally some regret after). On the contrary, when I was activity drinking to excess regularly (and IMO was struggling with alcohol addiction), I could quit it for periods of time, and did. In fact, one year I quit it for Lent. But the problem was I'd always go back, and when I was drinking I was really screwing up my life in all kinds of significant ways related to my obsession with alcohol. I think that does happen with eating disorders too, at least at the extreme, but rarely is it limited to specific food items from what I've seen/read.

    It's interesting because a few people have pointed out the sugar/fruit thing - so like you can't be addicted to sugar because otherwise you would over eat fruit etc. But the study analysis that I linked earlier (below) came to the opposite conclusion. That the substance was the more important component in the equation, rather than the behaviour. Basically how I am reading this is that they concluded that the addiction is to certain (highly palatable) foods, and not to eating itself.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5946262/

    "The results of the current systematic review generally support the validity of food addiction as a diagnostic construct, particularly as it relates to foods high in added sweeteners and refined ingredients. The majority of studies in the current review reported evidence for symptoms related to neurological changes and impaired control, with fewer studies evaluating preoccupation, chronicity, relapse, social impairment, and risky use. Behavioral and substance-related aspects of food addiction appear to be intertwined, but we suggest that the substance (highly-palatable food) component may be more salient to the diagnostic classification of this phenomenon than the behavior (eating). We propose that the food addiction construct merits serious attention in regard to its presentation, prevention, and treatment in humans."

    I think the claim that highly palatable foods are "addictive" is separate from and actually quite different from the claim that "sugar" is addictive (and so called highly palatable foods aren't inherently sugary -- I know pizza scores high on many of those tests and french fries (potatoes with fat and salt) score high whereas plain potatoes (mostly carbs) score very low). From your cite: "The evidence further suggests that certain foods, particularly processed foods with added sweeteners and fats, demonstrate the greatest addictive potential. Though both behavioral and substance-related factors are implicated in the addictive process, symptoms appear to better fit criteria for substance use disorder than behavioral addiction." (I.e., it is not about sugar per se.)

    I don't actually think the highly palatable idea is well-supported/convincing either -- studies are all over the place and the ones I have found most convincing tend to focus on the eating behavior, and other factors that tend to result in losses of control around foods (i.e., this can happen because you decide you cannot eat a food and then when you do have an all or nothing response). The hyper palatable concept basically is that people report such foods as harder to control and more pleasurable, which is not all that surprising (even if I personally think many of them aren't nearly as tasty as foods that aren't supposed to be hyper palatable). But is having a desire to overeat something because it tastes super good to you "addiction"? I think that's a misnomer, although I do think it is relevant to why people tend to overeat. (Although I do think that eating such foods a lot may well cause one to crave them, something that can be changed by changing the palate by eating different foods. One could argue that that's addiction, although most of the time it seems to fall far short of what is normally characterized as a "use disorder.")

    I would expect that people who want to eat gravitate toward foods they find extra palatable when those are available, sure, and that those are therefore often the foods that get associated with eating for comfort or various other eating behaviors that can easily become disordered in some way. And I would also agree that to some extent hyperpalatability may overwhelm your sense of fullness in a way that foods that one finds less rewarding (or which take more time to eat, often) will not. But is that analogous to the types of things that relate to a "use disorder"? It can be, but I think it gets used quite casually normally, and not strictly in that way, and I think it ignores the fact that binge eating disorder will often involve whatever foods are around (hyperpalatable or no) and the like with some of the super morbidly obese people who seem to be giving up everything for food/eating -- it's probably not just if the food is extra palatable. But this is all a separate question, the main point is the "it's extra palatable foods" thing doesn't support "sugar addiction."

    One question I would ask, and I'm undecided, is assuming that food/eating can be part of an addictive chain, which I think it certainly could be, why would it most commonly be manifested through so called hyper palatable foods (which are not limited to sugary ones and could certainly be traditional comfort foods like buttery mashed potatoes, say)? Is it because the foods themselves are so addictive? Or is it because food is pleasurable/comforting and if seeking pleasure/comfort one would likely seek out the most desirable foods in one's mind, and then the habit that forms tends to be related to those foods even if other ones (eating more generally) could do if those were not available? I suspect the latter, and therefore that it is not addiction to a specific substance or even the non substance that is "hyper palatable."

    I'm not sure this matters, I just find it interesting. I think my current theory is that there's some combination of a behavior and substance addiction (which I'd argue is the same with alcohol too), but that you can't fence of any such problem as being 100% limited to so-called hyperpalatable foods, and if someone had a significant issue and they were unavailable, I bet other foods would be alternatives.

    Question for you: if we did determine that hyperpalatable foods have the potential for addiction in a way that other foods do not (including sugar-filled foods like fruit, say!), what do you think this would mean? That the solution is to give up 100% hyperpalatable foods?

    Re: the bolded section. Couldn't you say the same about alcohol though? Except in cases of physical dependence isn't this the mechanism for all addiction?

    No. This is not the mechanism for all addictions. Opioids have an entirely different mechanism.
  • ahoy_m8ahoy_m8 Member Posts: 2,303 Member Member Posts: 2,303 Member
    It's all good insights. Thanks for sharing it!
  • 33gail3333gail33 Member Posts: 580 Member Member Posts: 580 Member
    @cwolfman13 OK I will defer to your knowledge - I don't know that much about the technicalities of it. Weirdly alcohol doesn't help me sleep at all, I fall asleep OK, but I don't sleep through the night. Mind you that is my sleep (insomnia) pattern anyway. Fall asleep when my head hits the pillow - and wake up 3-4 hours later and toss and turn the rest of the night. I quit drinking in December, hasn't seemed to help me, so my sleep issues must be non alcohol related. (I was drinking probably 10-14 drinks a week before that - so probably less than one might consider problematic anyway.)
  • ahoy_m8ahoy_m8 Member Posts: 2,303 Member Member Posts: 2,303 Member
    To continue on the cognitive work of changing behaviors.... I am lingering over the recognition that there is a difference between:
    - identifying subconscious beliefs, evaluating whether they are actually true, and recalibrating them
    - the 12 (or so) cognitive distortions defined in the Beck CBT model. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_distortion

    Good examples of reexamined beliefs above (alcohol is good for sleep, relaxation, etc.) I am also curious about cognitive distortions folks may have recognized (all-or-nothing thinking, overgeneralizing, filtering, etc.) and found it helpful to change.

    Lots of MFP-ers have commented on all-or-nothing thinking, i.e. "I've ruined the day/week/year by eating one meal off plan so I might as well go off plan for everything else." That's a distortion. The reality is every little bit you do counts, so getting right back on plan would result in a small bump in the road, not a catastrophe. Other examples (I'm making these up now):
    - overgeneralizing: "sugar always makes me overeat" vs reality which might be something like "I don't overeat fruit so I'm able to moderate some foods with sucrose/fructose"
    - filtering: dwelling only on failures instead of recognizing some success plus some fails.

    Interested in others' thoughts.
    edited February 27
  • Speakeasy76Speakeasy76 Member Posts: 456 Member Member Posts: 456 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    ahoy_m8 wrote: »
    To continue on the cognitive work of changing behaviors.... I am lingering over the recognition that there is a difference between:
    - identifying subconscious beliefs, evaluating whether they are actually true, and recalibrating them
    - the 12 (or so) [url="http://"]cognitive distortions[/url] defined in the Beck CBT model.

    Good examples of reexamined beliefs above (alcohol is good for sleep, relaxation, etc.) I am also curious about cognitive distortions folks may have recognized (all-or-nothing thinking, overgeneralizing, filtering, etc.) and found it helpful to change.

    Lots of MFP-ers have commented on all-or-nothing thinking, i.e. "I've ruined the day/week/year by eating one meal off plan so I might as well go off plan for everything else." That's a distortion. The reality is every little bit you do counts, so getting right back on plan would result in a small bump in the road, not a catastrophe. Other examples (I'm making these up now):
    - overgeneralizing: "sugar always makes me overeat" vs reality which might be something like "I don't overeat fruit so I'm able to moderate some foods with sucrose/fructose"
    - filtering: dwelling only on failures instead of recognizing some success plus some fails.

    Interested in others' thoughts.

    I know little or nothing about CBT per se, but what you're saying here - I think - is related to something I've typed a number of times in threads here on MFP: That self-definition is really, really important; and that there has to be a way to make a tiny chink in the wall of self-concept, to create a potential for change. For example: "I hate exercise" vs. "I haven't yet found a way of moving more that I enjoy" or "I can't resist sweets" vs. "In the past, I've struggled to resist sweets".

    It's kind of at the root of why I don't like the casual "addiction" language for eating issues, in most cases. It situates the power in some non-controllable place, inside the self, but outside self-control. That's not a great starting point, conceptually, for change.

    (If the "addiction" language were limited to things like severe binging, where an individual feels completely out of control, literally desperately eating anything that's at hand, I wouldn't consider that "casual" usage: There really is a deep problem of self-control. "I will eat a whole sleeve of Oreos, but not the apples, nor drink honey out of the jar" called "sugar addiction" is still a behavioral problem, but not the same nature of problem.)

    There's a new term that's popular called "Growth Mindset." This has been used a lot at my kids' school since they were in like 1st grade, teaching them about this concept in terms that they can understand. It's why telling kids "you're so smart" is actually not helpful, but can be damaging. I've started applying this concept to myself, and I think that's why I've been successful in keeping weight off.

    The whole concept is recognizing what you "glow" at (typically referred to as "strengths") and what are the areas in which you need to "grow" (commonly referred to as weaknesses). Even the terminology is that of more control of what we can change. That's why I, too, now have a problem in admitting "powerlessness" over certain foods. I understand that with highly addictive substances that makes more sense for some, but for food...I don't know.
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Member Posts: 7,096 Member Member Posts: 7,096 Member
    ahoy_m8 wrote: »
    Interested in others' thoughts.

    I guess I'm not sure exactly what you are seeking thoughts on. I've done some CBT and certainly recognized almost all of the cognitive distortions as problems with my own thinking about a variety of things.
  • dekrugermollydekrugermolly Member Posts: 20 Member Member Posts: 20 Member
    I do think food can be addictive. It’s proven that sugar is more addictive than opioids like heroin. I battle with food constantly, i battle the junk food and fast over over the healthy and homemade. It’s something you have to work on every day of your life if you want to be healthy and have an addiction to food. Yes you need food to live, but you don’t need McDonalds, chips, pizza, etc. to live.
  • robertw486robertw486 Member, Greeter, Premium Posts: 2,179 Member Member, Greeter, Premium Posts: 2,179 Member
    Worms, worms, worms everywhere.

    Commenting to follow, but it is really a somewhat unique case. We all have to eat to survive. Is a biological need an addition in itself? I don't think so, but others might.

    As for particular foods, I think it falls into desires more than addictions personally. While a person might want a fatty and sweet treat, they would probably still eat a cream filled donut if it had a protein biased macro, or many less calories, etc. They just IMHO want that particular taste they are craving.
  • spinnerdellspinnerdell Member Posts: 201 Member Member Posts: 201 Member
    Psychgrrl wrote: »
    ahoy_m8 wrote: »
    I just caught upon this thread and thoroughly enjoyed, especially the bits on cheese and WWII eating. The discussion seems to show that at least one reason for controversy is the lack of a single definition of addiction that is clear and that everyone is using.

    Is “alcohol addiction” or “alcoholic” even in the DSM-5? I thought those terms were replaced with “alcohol use disorder” because psychologists also struggled to give definitions precise enough to be helpful (I.e. to pinpoint when a patient had crossed the line into addiction). “Alcohol use disorder” gives practitioners a spectrum of behaviors that are more flexible and descriptive, and hence easier to use.

    If we go with the “disordered” language, we can see similarities in some eating disorder behaviors and substance use disorder behaviors, but we can also see that the spectrum of behaviors can be much more extreme and destructive with disordered use of alcohol and drugs.
    iFartMagic wrote: »
    Food addiction is 100% a thing. It does not matter if you need it to live or not, it is a mental disorder to eat beyond what you need to live to such an excess that it is extremely unhealthy. A food addicted person will just be on auto pilot and eat until they are sick even.

    People DO use it as an excuse sometimes and are not actually addicted, and it has to be diagnosed, but it is the same class as any other eating disorder.

    "Eating disorder" not "Addiction". You said it yourself.

    Eating disorders (and OSFED—Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorders) do have actions that could be classified as problem behaviors with some similar veins of addiction treatment (like CBT—Cognitive Behavior Therapy). They also have the commonality of being endemic for most sufferers.

    However, they typically aren’t treated like addictions. Eating Disorders are self-harming behaviors with different response needs than addiction.

    Self-harming behavior describes disordered eating very well for me.
Sign In or Register to comment.