Yes, You Love Chocolate, But Is It a Food Addiction?

Food-AddictionUnfortunately, broccoli and carrots don’t top anyone’s list of potential food addictions, but Wendi Schutte, clinical manager for the Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center, says food addictions can be a real challenge for some people who suffer from obesity.

“We are starting to see more research about obesity and the effects certain foods have on the brain, similar to alcohol or heroin,” Schutte said during an interview on WTAX’s Ask The Expert program on the Ray Lytle Show. “The brain responds in the same way as it does to a substance. Often, it’s the unhealthier foods—the more high-sugar, highly processed foods—that people feel addicted to.”

Determine signs of a food addiction by asking yourself these questions:

  • Do I suffer withdrawal symptoms when I don’t eat the food?
  • Am I spending time seeking out the food item or obsessing about when I will be able to eat it again?
  • Does the food craving interfere with my everyday functioning?
  • Are there negative consequences to my health or overall wellbeing as a result of the food cravings?

Sometimes there are genetic or emotional triggers that can make someone predisposed to a food addiction. Schutte said treatment options cater to the individual, but it is important for the person to recognize there’s an issue or concern. Not every person who suffers from obesity is facing a food addiction. Often, talking with a professional can help determine if it is a food addiction or something else that’s taking place.

Listen to the complete 30-minute radio interview.

Looking for help?
The Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center offers a medically supervised, customized approach specific to your individual weight loss goals. Simply get started online with a secure pre-screening form. We will help you embark on your journey to a healthier you.

Wendi Schutte, LCSW

Wendi Schutte, LCSW, is the clinical manager for Memorial’s Weight Loss & Wellness Center. She works with a multi-disciplinary team in the evaluation and treatment of obesity and related conditions. She began her career at MWLWC seven years ago completing psychosocial assessments for patients interested in pursuing bariatric surgery. She earned her bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Psychology from Millikin University. She furthered her education by pursuing her master’s at Loyola University.