On Nutrition: Food Addiction

Happy Monday! Did you read my column in yesterday’s Seattle Times, “Can you be addicted to food?” If not, please check it out.

Food addiction remains a controversial issues, for reasons addressed in the column (how can we be addicted to food when we need to eat to live). Even among scientists and health professionals who agree that food addiction is a real thing, there is disagreement about whether the food itself or certain eating behaviors that are the problem. Is it a food addiction or an eating addiction?
That last idea, that it’s certain eating behaviors that are problematic, is interesting, because addiction can take so many forms (drugs, alcohol, tobacco, shopping, gambling, food, sex) and it’s not always about a substance. Many people have what we call “addictive personalities” and may give up alcohol and start gambling or shopping compulsively. I’ve known people who come from families where addiction runs rampant, but in different forms, not all of them involving substances. Again, interesting, and there’s much more to be learned about how, when and why the food we eat, or the way we eat it, crosses the line from “normal” to “addiction.”
If you would like to read more on this topic, here are a few good links:
P.S. I forgot to mention last month that I had an article published in Environmental Nutrition Newsletter on skin and nutrition, “Nutrition is more than skin deep.” EN is a great publication, aimed at both nutrition professionals and savvy consumers of nutrition information. I highly recommend subscribing, as most of the articles are only accessible to subscribers. It comes in a print and online version.