Food Addiction

Food Addiction – Is this the Only Reason We are Fat?

Suppose you are in the office and wondering when you can have the spaghetti you saved from last night's dinner. A second later you remember your doctor's strict warning about not consuming any carbs. Last night was a cheat night (oh no!) Does it sound familiar?

You were told you are addicted to food and constantly worrying about it and end up eating more. Quite a circle! But what if I told you food addiction may not be the reason for obesity. There are many other reasons and we need to be aware of it.

Food Addiction

Food Addiction

When one is addicted to consuming palatable or foods that contain a high level of sugar and fat as it activates the award system of the cognitive function which is a consequence often observed in other animals is called food addiction.

Its Effects on the Brain

Men and women often indulge in food which contains sugar or salt that triggers the satisfaction or reward areas of the brain. The neurons are specifically trained to be happy with the body's consuming sugar. Why? I'll give you the answer in a minute.

And also any type of consumption of sugar also relaxes the brain and people with this addiction become more encouraged to eat as addicted people suffer from anxiety most of the time.

Causes and Symptoms

The causes of food addiction are many and they can often relate to many psychological issues as well as social and biological.

The symptoms are feeling the need to eat even when one is full and feeling guilty later. One may eat hiding at late night to hide his/her weakness for food, inability to control his/her craving.

But there are many other reasons for becoming fat or obese. And after knowing them you will hardly ever believe the commercials of diet and gym again that relentlessly tell you to control your craving and exercise.

Our Ancestors are to be Blamed

Before our ancestors started to settle in one place and cultivate their own food in simple words they became farmers, our foragers gathered food by hunting.

As they lived on meat or animal diet mostly so if they ever laid their hands on some starch or foods with high sugar level it was a relief from their daily food no matter how good it was.

Our Ancestors are to be Blamed

And also this food was highly energizing and they would find these foods rarely or sometimes after searching a lot. So consumption of sugar used to trigger their reward level of the brain.

We have advanced too quickly for our brain to understand that finding foods with a rich portion of sugar is not an adventure after 1 month of walking and searching of two forests, one can just open the fridge or go to the supermarket when there is none at home.

And so our brain still becomes happy as a child when gets sugar. So stop blaming yourself, rather think of reprogramming or not.

Tradition and Norms

Food habits depend on society, culture, and country. But still, we often grow a habit of junk foods and unhealthy processed foods in communities. After all, there is McDonalds and KFC in many countries. In many poorer areas, people only eat processed foods as they are cheap.

But many countries traditionally eat rice or carbs as their main dish where side dish is only one and in a little amount. They grew the habit when they were farmers or someone who had to do physical work all day out.

But now they don't do physical work anymore and they still eat such energized food which is hazardous for health. Thus these food habits are which we maintain as valuable social or traditional norm can lead us to weight gain.

A Marketing Strategy

The processed foods, salty nuts, and junk foods are advertised and people often rely on them for daily meals as they are often cheap. But these foods make you crave for more and you end up eating them.

Marketing Strategy

They also made sure it would cause obese. Some poor society cannot even buy fresh food as they are expensive.

And after you have gained weight, congratulation! Now there are many organizations to help you lose weight through “Healthy” diets and “Exercise”.


We have to admit, we really don’t know much about weight gain. You blame your addiction and become stressful, shy and embarrassed to even ask about or look on it. And you think someday miraculously you will learn to control it.

But maybe you are not addicted in the first place. And we never look at what all these food commercials are about. Everyone's body works differently and a different type of diet should be assigned.

But to know that one needs to study about food first and experiment for what food is good for them rather than counting calories and reading Facebook posts on health pages.

We get a lot of misinformation regarding food and diet everywhere. But believing all of them and looking beyond are another reason behind our weight gain.

Insulin and Hormone Imbalance

Only to digest and process food, there are a lot of hormones, fluids, steps of slow and steady work of many organs working together that take almost 5/6 hours.

Insulin is the one to look out for as it is responsible for your waistline. High intake of carbohydrate increases insulin which is a hormone for reserving fat and it leads to obese.

Often the rare case of hormone imbalance arises as there is a rare disorder called Cushing's syndrome for which one's body produces steroid hormones in excessive amounts.

And there is hypothyroidism which causes an inability to produce enough hormones which can mess up with your weight.

Deficiency of Iodine and Vitamin D

Deficiency of Iodine and Vitamin D

Recent surveys showed that almost over 70% of people were suffering from iodine deficiency which disables the thyroid to produce enough hormones.

Thyroid decides the distribution of energy or fat. Many of us suffer from iodine deficiency which causes weight gain and we call it food addiction.

Even the deficiency of vitamin D leads to weight gain. When the imbalance of vitamins and other minerals happens, one suffers from many fatal diseases including obesity.


There are certain medications that lead to weight gain and medicines for hormones are the one to look for. Some women suffer from menstrual problems due to weight gain and their medications lead them to obesity. So the whole process goes in circles.

The medicines for thyroid also lead to obese and other medication for overproduction of steroid hormones that happens in Cushing's syndrome. Also, the medication for diabetes, depression, schizophrenia, epilepsy are often responsible for obese.


All day at work, completing different projects, meeting deadlines, pleasing the boss these can be pretty stressful. Even the students who have to constantly worry about grades, assignments, careers, social status and now they have to deal with different addictions to social media and also please a lot of people.

When people are running out of breath food becomes their only comfort. Many become depressed and start to consume more food as it relaxes the brain.

As Freud often smoked because it cleared his mind and the same could be observed in Sherlock Holmes.

But the truth is any type of consumption (water, cigar, food, and sugar) relaxes the brain as the brain and body together concentrates on processing the food, the blood rushes to the stomach and the brain relaxes every time on eats.

Some even cannot get past to their childhood traumas and personal problems that compel them to relish on food.


There are numerous reasons behind becoming fat, such as genetic problems, heredity, medical conditions and imbalance in consuming many minerals and vitamins.

We should look for the cause instead of thinking stereo typically and blaming food addiction. Give another thought before appointing a session for psychotherapy to treat your addiction.