In this paper, key points regardingthe effects that addiction has on the mind and body will be discussed.
The traditional way of thinking of addictionwill not be the primary focus. The termaddiction will not just be used for the typical substance abuse that it isalways classified with. In addition,there will be evidence proving there are more addictions than just that.
People can become addicted to almostanything. A strong correlation betweenover consumption of food and overweight individuals will support thisclaim. Beyond the assumption thatoverweight people are lazy, there have been studies that can indicateotherwise. These claims will predictthat food addiction is adequately equal to drug addiction. Majority of peopleseem to have some sort of an addiction no matter what the case may be. Some addictions are viewed as worse thanothers, that is for sure, but an addiction is an addiction. The most common addiction is the mostwell-known, which of course is drugs and alcohol.
Substance abuse is number one on thecharts. However, you can be addicted toa wide range of things. For example,gambling, sex, video games, shopping, plastic surgery, and even just simplybrowsing the internet. All these thingscan be classified as addictions if overdoing them becomes a habit. Because the word addiction can be used in different ways, is it safe to say overconsumption of food can be considered an addiction as well? Can that particular need answer someunderlying questions regarding people that are overweight? If pleasure is being brought from doing anaction in a compulsive way, that would be a yes. As a disclaimer, of course this would not bethe case for every person in this category, but there are facts that helpsupport this claim.
Therefore, it can benoted that as a result of food addiction, some cases of obesity can beexplained through dependency of food. Since it has been declared that food addiction is a true one, it will bediscussed how environmental issues, stress, and convenience become factors thatmake it easier to partake in this addiction. Beforejumping into any examples, a formal definition of the word addiction should beintroduced. The word addiction can beclassified as a condition that results when a person ingests a substance orengages in an activity that brings pleasure due to the continuation that whichbecomes compulsive and can begin to interfere with ordinary responsibilities(Baumeister & Nadal, 2017). Ingeneral, many people who develop addictions are not usually aware of theiractions. In addition, a great quantityof individuals may not agree that this is an addiction what so ever on thecount that you have to eat to survive. However, when indulgence is a result because of other concerns and notto nourish the body, food is being used as an outlet for various reasons.
Certain issues occurring with an individualmay go unnoticed and they may not believe they are eating for any given reason. Furthermore, this allows the first viewpoint tobe made. Whenit comes to environmental issues, these aspects can have an effect on a personbefore they are even able to make decisions for themselves. In more severe cases, it can have an effectbefore a baby is born. If a mothersmokes during pregnancy or has diabetes, the fetus is more likely to becomeobese. Because environmental influencescan come into play very early, experts Alaa and Mohammed think thatenvironmental factors are the driving force for the dramatic increase inobesity (2017).
These researcherssometimes called these in-utero exposes “fetal programming” (Alaa &Mohammed, 2017). When you are introducedto anything before being born, it will more than likely have a greater effectthan to a baby that was not exposed to these conditions. As a result, for children, they are likeblank canvases and experiencing poor habits too early will be embedded for alifetime if not corrected. Thedependency can begin in the womb of a mother and will continue to grow strongeras the person does as well.
The strongerthe dependency the more overweight a person will become. Kids who continue to drink sugary drinks andeat high-calorie, processed food tend to develop a taste for these types offood. Going into adulthood with thesehabits will ultimately just promote weight gain. If an individual does not recognize a patternwithin their self before it is too late, the possible outcome is developing anot so detectable food addiction. Onanother note, the way people deal with their personal issues can also aid indeveloping a food addiction.
Stress is acommon thread intertwining with other factors that experts agree may conspireto promote weight gain. These days, amajority of everyday life is comprised of work. If the bulk of your time is being spent doing things that are notenjoyable, of course that is going to cause some level of stress.
Time pressures from work and otherobligations force people to deal with their stress and hunger all at once. Neurological evidence indicates that thebrain’s biological clock, the pacemaker, controls daily rhythms to helpregulate hunger and satiety signals (Markus, Rogers, Brouns, & Schepers,2016). Ideally, these signals shouldhelp to keep weight steady but when stress comes into play, that is that partthat suffers from compromise. Connections between the brains pacemaker and the appetite control centerin the hypothalamus suggest that hunger and satiety are affected by temporalcues (Markus et al, 2016). Overeatingpatterns disrupt the effectiveness of these cues in a way that promotes weightgain. The stress triggers the action ofeating and the eating results to building that addiction as a release to thestress. The cycle is basicallycontinuous because if you already have the addiction it is virtually impossibleto avoid all stress. Anotherreasoning for the food addiction is the convenience of the food.
Food is legitimately everywhere you seem toturn. Because the convenience of food,it is the easiest to access whether in the comfort of your own home or in themiddle of nowhere with only an old gas station in sight. According to the Center for Disease Controland Prevention (CDC), Americans are eating more than they did on average thanin the 1970s compared to now (Forbes, 2014). Between the years 1971 and 2000, the average calorie intake hasincreased dramatically by 47% (Forbes, 2014).
Practically everywhere you go, food is readily available and almostnever food that is remotely good for you. The food industry, in a way, has forced more calorie consumption withoutsome people even realizing it. In the1950s, restaurants had one serving size, whereas today, there is a wide rangeof sizes you can choose from to fit your personal needs. Researchers say thatit is a combination of increased availability, bigger portions, and morehigh-calorie foods that assist in this addiction (Westwater, Fletcher, , 2016). Certain places todaycan serve a single meal and the calorie amount can be anywhere from 1,500-2,500calories which is just mostly sugar and bad fats.
Those numbers are also equal to the properamount of calories allowed for a complete day on average. Foods that are easiest to become addicted toare the high-calorie type because even though they can be low in fat, they arehigh in sugar to improve the taste and palatability. Thus, brings all these points to aconclusion. Inclosing, since it has been proven that having a food addiction can becorrelated with being overweight obviously there is a solution.
Just like any addiction, many people needsupport when it comes to recognizing the problem and also fixing it. Also, it is not always the persons’ fault bythemselves. In the world we live intoday, it does not seem like the environment is at its’ best, people are morestressed for various reasons, and the most convenient food is the worse foryou. In a way, it can almost feel likehow can one not be addicted to something in this day and age. It has been reported that having an addictionthat is not physical still has the same effect on the brain in regards topleasure. Even though the physicalaspect of the addiction is not there a mental “high” is reached. It is important to know that a person’saddiction is ultimately a search for pleasure and not a characteristic of themas a person. It has always been a debatewhether addiction is a disease or a mental illness.
When it comes to food perhaps it may not bethat in depth. However, if it is aresult of overeating due to early, onset environmental circumstances, beingoverly stressed, or the food industry producing poorer convenient meals, itwould certainly fall in line with having an addiction.