Food addiction is often given less air time than more obvious problems like alcohol and drug abuse but it remains a serious public health issue. Not only can it cause major health problems such as obesity and cause an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer but it can also have a significant impact on mental health and sense of wellbeing.
People who have a food addiction tend to associate various feelings of comfort from eating certain things. This can lead to overindulging and creating a vicious cycle that is difficult to get out of without the right help. There may be a variety of reasons why such an addiction begins and takes hold of an individual and getting professional help to break the cycle is vital. Food addiction can lead people to eat to the point of being ill and even avoid particular social interactions so that a food can be eaten in secret.
There are various physical health problems that regularly occur in someone with a food addiction which can include:
Eating too much of certain kinds of food can cause pain in the joints, headaches and damage to the liver and kidneys. Lack of other foods, because a sufferer is focusing on one type, can even cause malnutrition. Because they are not getting certain nutrients, food addicts may start to encounter problems such as osteoporosis.
It’s not just the physical health that a food addiction affects. There are mental health issues too:
The choice of an unhealthy food can cause emotional problems such as excessive irritability, either when the food is not available or when it has just been eaten. Fear of not getting that fix can lead to anxiety and panic attacks. In severe cases, low self-esteem and depression can promote suicidal tendencies. The impact of poor mental health in most addictions, including those associated with food, should not be underestimated and can be difficult issues to untangle.