“Food addiction’s a hot topic these days.
Proponents posit that food addiction is a real phenomenon that leads people to almost irresistibly eat.
Opponents believe that it doesn’t exist, and it’s just a means with which people justify their difficulties with food.
What if they’re both right?
A recent study’s got me thinking. Now be forewarned, it’s an animal study and therefore not necessarily attributable to human beings, but nonetheless…..”
For a summary of the study mentioned above follow the link to visit the little piggies that could help answer some questions about food addiction. via Weighty Matters: Food addiction. Chicken or egg?.”
“This may suggest that while food addiction indeed has neurophysiologic foundations, that it’s the chicken and not the egg. Meaning that these pigs weren’t born addicted to food, they developed food addictions after living in what might be described as a toxic food environment.
That’s exciting to me, in that if we can help people regain control over their food environments, if we can help people ease into more satiating patterns of eating, maybe we can rewire their brains, and in so doing, short-circuit these unnaturally derived neural pathways and responses.
And ultimately, I think we can. Why? Because I see it in my offices on a very regular basis (though not every time mind you, there are some folks who seem to truly struggle with these behaviours regardless of the tweaks we try).
Which is why I think both proponents and opponents are right, where food addiction has a real physiological foundation, but where there is certainly a pattern of eating that may, in some cases, predispose people to heightened neurophysiological drives to eat.”
This discussion reminds me of the nature vs nurture issue in child development. I believe that we are part heredity and part nurture. All of us are affected by our environment which influences what we have already inherited through our genetic make-up.
I believe that that nature and nurture influence our relationship with food as well and it seems that this animal study may be pointing in that direction.
Something I know for sure… more studies need to be done to make definitive conclusions regarding FOOD ADDICTIONS in humans.