Can Food be Addicting?
Interesting concept , huh?
I mean think about how many times you or someone you know has thought - "Im a chocoholic", "I'm addicted to sugar", or "once I start eating chips, I can't stop."
And as it turns out, the food addiction theory is something that is being studied by research as we speak! This is a concept that still doesn't have all the answers (mainly because nutrition is not a black and white science, but that's another blog post). But what we do know so far is this ...
1. Food shares common drug pathways in the brain. 2. Food can activate reward neurons. 3. When consumed, dopamine (feel good hormone) receptors are altered. 4. Anticipation of eating activates brain regions seen in drug abuse.
However, I don't necessarily think this is a BAD thing. Our brain reward center also gets activated when we laugh, when we hug, or we listen to music. So that just goes to show that food SHOULD be rewarding. And if its not, well then I think the answer is more so that we need to work on our food relationship. The tug and pull relationship with food can really enhance the food addiction experience. So if sometimes you love food and then sometimes you hate it (or hate that you love it!) then I think that's where the bigger issue lies.
Another idea? Even though food "addiction" seems like the problem, perhaps there is something bigger behind it. For instance - a person who hasn't come to terms with abuse or trauma, and uses food to raise their dopamine levels during depressed periods.
Either way, I think the bottom line continues to remain that a positive food relationship is key! Need help working on healing food relationship? Tell me about it, by contacting me here!