Addictive Qualities of Food
There is new evidence suggesting that obesity may be the side effect of an addiction. Anyone who has attempted to lose weight has experienced cravings for non-diet foods such as pizza, pasta, ice cream, and candy. While these foods may seem innocent, over consumption of these high carbohydrate and sugary foods could be affecting our brains in a similar way to drugs such as cocaine.
Heavily processed foods designed to be quick and easy for consumers are found to have been stripped of many necessary nutrients and fiber. Packaged and processed foods found in many restaurants and grocery stores touted to be “healthy” or “low fat” in reality are full of sugar and refined flours. This could be causing our bodies to not only gain weight but also cause fluctuating blood sugar levels. This results in unhealthy cravings for more of the very food that caused the problem in the first place.
Other studies show that ingesting highly processed foods full of unhealthy fats and sugars stimulate the brain similar to the way an alcoholic’s brain would react when anticipating a glass of wine. A study done on rats showed that anxiety, headaches, shakiness, and other withdrawal symptoms were experienced when a drug was used to block the influence of sugar on the brain.
People who are struggling with their weight and considering JSAPA Weight Loss Surgery may be experiencing the side effects of this addiction. Dr. Cywes suggests that obesity is not an addiction to food, but instead is a result of an addiction to carbohydrates. Dr. Cywes’ solution to overcoming obesity is to abstain from the foods that contain endorphin-releasing carbohydrates. He states that “carbohydrates are not essential to the human diet; therefore, obesity can be treated through abstinence from carbohydrates while still eating a lot of food for its nutritional value. Effective obesity management occurs when it is managed using substance abuse methodology (abstinence) not diet and weight loss methodology (restriction), since habits can’t be broken while still doing them.”