Food Obsessions

Being obsessed with food can involve uncontrollable craving for foods containing refined carbohydrates, primarily sugar and flour substances. These foods are metabolized and turned into sugar in the bloodstream. Research shows that for some people, this affects the same pleasure and reward centers of the brain that are triggered by addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin. When people experience the increased dopamine transmission in the brain from eating these foods, they feel the need to eat again.

Signs & Symptoms

Distressing food obsessions can include:

  • Food cravings
  • A disturbed body image
  • Binge eating
  • Shame or fear about food

The pleasure rewards of eating highly palatable foods may override signals of fullness and satisfaction. Some keep eating, even though they are not hungry. Some people experience discomfort at no-food occasions. They avoid discussion when food, eating or weight comes up, sometimes changing the subject to another topic.

Tips & Recommendations

People with food obsessions may actually have neurochemical or hormonal imbalances that trigger sugar and carb cravings. Recovery is based on making appropriate food choices on a daily basis, with ongoing vigilance on making food selections that are free of substances that will trigger the cravings.

Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTS) can help you manage your feelings and cope with your distress.

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Featured Therapist 

Kelly Duggan Shearer, M.A.
Kelly Duggan Shearer, M.A.

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Glendora, CA

Are you stressed out? Do you sometimes find yourself snapping at your children? Would you describe your relationship with your husband as “distant”? Or do you feel like you are going to lose it if someone doesn’t give you a break? Being a mother, wife, or daughter can stretch us to our limits. During times like these it can feel like the world has been turned “upside down”. There is HOPE! You don’t have to figure this out alone. Let’s talk and see if I can help you make things “right side up” again.


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