Pavilion Family Medicine

Why Food Addiction Isn’t Your Fault

Article from Dr. Mark Hyman and Mindbodygreen .  Originally posted 07/21/15 on

When it comes to why so many people are overweight, studies show that food addiction — particularly addiction to sugar — is often the root cause.

Food addiction creates a vicious cycle of cravings, often for sugary foods that spike your blood sugar. As your brain’s pleasure center lights up, you simply crave more of that substance that gives you a “high.” You become powerless against the brain’s hardwired response to seek out pleasure.  

So rather than lack of willpower, specific biological mechanisms drive addictive behavior and hold you hostage.  Nobody chooses to be a drug addict or alcoholic. Nobody chooses to have a food addiction, either.

How Food Addiction Happens

There are many signs that suggest you might struggle with a food addiction. Maybe you eat when we’re not hungry, or when you’re agitated, anxious, or stressed out. Or maybe you find you need a certain food to experience pleasure or reduce negative emotions.

But as I said before, food addiction is not your fault.  You see, food companies have designed sugary, processed food products with highly addictive properties. They are literally and figuratively feeding your addiction.

If you grew up attending a school that had only deep-fried food, was stocked with vending machines of processed foods, or was ringed by convenience stores where you could grab a 64-ounce Big Gulp on your way home every day, it’s no surprise that your habits and taste buds got wired that way.

Certainly, personal responsibility does play a role. But willpower just isn’t enough when your brain’s reward mechanisms kick in, thanks to the toxic influences of sugar and processed foods.

These materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. 
All material on Pavilion Family Medicine Medial Blog is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health related program.