Food Addiction or Binge Eating Disorder?

Binge Eating Disorder Food addiction is different than known eating disorders. Food addicts find it difficult to stop eating and easily give in to their cravings. They start off small, but slowly increase their food portions. People are genetically prone to food addiction. A person who has irregular weight and experiences drastic changes in weight is in need of professional help.

In many cases, food addiction is result of a psychological eating disorder. Sometimes, a health professional may wrongly diagnose the disorder. This can be attributed to the fact that some health professionals are unwilling to probe into the patient’s chemical dependency on food. Therapy, diet, and exercise alone won’t work for food addicts. They must physically abstain from the foods they crave. Very few people give a thought to the seriousness of food addiction.

There are even many similarities between sugar addiction and binge eating disorder and its easy to assume that the person suffers from both. The treatment for food addiction is entirely different from the treatment for chronic dieting and binge-eating. The treatment for chronic dieting and binge eating disorder involves reduced or restricted eating, while the treatment for food addiction is more psychological in nature.

The study conducted by the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) showed that 56.8% of the participants were diagnosed with food addiction. 57.1 % persons who did not meet the criteria showed at least three or more symptoms. But no sign of significant clinical impairment or distress was reported. The participants who were diagnosed with food addiction were also diagnosed with mood disorder. The scores of YFAS showed more negative affects, higher emotional dysregulation, and very low self esteem. The positive YFAS scores correlated with binge eating disorder, diet concerns, body-shape concerns, weight concerns, and global eating disorder scores. Although YFAS scores did not relate to dietary concern, it did predict binge eating scores.

You must have realized by now that there is a strong relationship between binge eating disorders and food addiction. The patients diagnosed with both food addiction and binge eating disorder suffer from a much more severe subtype of eating disorder. These patients have a high level of mood disorders, very low self esteem, eating disorder pathology, and emotional dysregulation.

A lot of the people diagnosed with binge eating disorder also exhibit symptoms of food addiction. But you must realize that the food addiction tag does not apply to all the binge eaters. There are a few binge eaters who don’t meet the criteria of food addiction. The connection between food addiction and binge eating disorder is not related to dieting. Although sometimes binge eating disorder is caused by dieting or restrictive eating.

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Amelia Smith

Nutritionist, herbalist, health and medicine writer and yoga enthusiast, Amelia Smith, is a professional in the health, nutrition and diet industry.
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