Facts About Food Addiction
What most people think when they’re asked about addiction is substance addiction. And that would be primarily drugs and alcohol.
The sad news is that most people don’t consider food to be an addiction and it’s probably the most misused and abused substance today.
In fact, food is America’s #1 drug of choice!
Here are some facts about the U.S. population:
- Over two-thirds of adults are overweight.
- Over one-third of adults are obese.
- Less than one-third of adults are at a healthy weight.
- From 1960 to 2006, the prevalence of obesity increased from 13.4% to 35.1% in adults age 20 to 74.
- Approximately 12.4% of children age 2 to 5 and 17% of children age 6 to 11 were overweight and about 17.6% of adolescents (age 12 to 19) were overweight in 2003–2006.
- Obesity is associated with over 112,000 excess deaths due to cardiovascular disease, over 15,000 excess deaths due to cancer, and over 35,000 excess deaths due to non-cancer, non-cardiovascular disease causes per year, relative to healthy-weight individuals.
- On average, people who are considered obese pay $1,429 (42%) more in health care costs than normal-weight individuals.
People are eating themselves to death! However, like all addiction treatment, there are alternative choices and there are many ways to eat in a balanced, enjoyable and healthy manner.
I spent my first two years out of graduate school working at an eating disorders clinic, so I’ve seen firsthand how challenging this addiction can be. Additionally, I went on to facilitate my own outpatient food addiction program in my practice. Compulsive overeating, anorexia and bulimia can all be crippling, but with the proper treatment program people do recover and life happy and healthy lives.
If you feel like you’re out of control with your eating patterns and you’d like to find healthier ways of eating, then I invite you to call me.