Is There Such a Thing as ‘Food Addiction’?

LifeRing only concerns itself with substance abuse, not other kinds of ‘behavioral’ addictions, like gambling or sex. But many of our members, like much of the population, have problems with food, and overeating, that feel similar in some ways to our experiences with alcohol or drugs. An article in The Huffington Post, an on-line magazine, explores that similarity and concludes that the two areas are very connected indeed. The Huffington Post is not by any means a scientific journal, so take a cautious attitude towards the assertions being made, but the ideas presented are interesting indeed.


  1. Tamara on April 8, 2011 at 11:20 am

    I’m not sure I follow you, Edward. You say you don’t believe in food addiction because you already have problems with alcohol and drugs. The fact that alcohol and drugs– not food–are a problem for you doesn’t mean that other people don’t have problems with food. I’ve met some morbidly obese people who develop diabetes, have a foot amputated, can’t climb stairs, have to use a scooter at the market because they can barely walk, and they still keep eating! I’m no expert, but those behaviors do remind me of the self -destructive behaviors addicts engage in (sharing needles, selling their bodies for drugs, risking their safety and others’ driving drunk, losing their children to the state because they can’t stop using, etc.). I haven’t made up my mind, but after reading the whole article (not just the blurb above) the writer’s arguments are convincing. By the way, althought the Huffington Post is not a scientific or medical journal, the author of the article is an MD, so I think he’s qualified to offer an opinion.

  2. Anna May Lee on October 28, 2010 at 6:50 pm


    Yes, the phrase “food addiction” is quite credible, although it is most widely known as binge-eating disorder, or compulsive overeating disorder. I personally have compulsive overeating, but I also have obsessive compulsive disorder; the two are very much connected. Binge-eating and compulsive overeating are two different things; binge-eating is best described as an “episode” during which one “must” consume a great amount of food to satisfy their “addiction”. Compulsive-overeating, or at least from my own experience, makes me feel like I have to eat constantly. These disorders are both very serious, and there are, fortunately, treatment programs for both. There is much more to these disorders, so I suggest researching or consulting with a doctor (I’d tell you more but I am no doctor, I’ll leave it to the professionals). I hope this helped you, though!


  3. Edward on October 21, 2010 at 9:21 am

    The HuffPo isn’t a scientific journal? Who knew?
    Anyway, I don’t believe in food addiction. Why? Because I have enough trouble dealing with booze and drugs.