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Food Addiction. STUDENT PRESENTATION. OVERVIEW. Film clip Definitions Causes Consequences Interventions Conclusion. Each to be discussed from the standpoints of the user , society/culture, service providers and decision/policy makers. DEFINITIONS. Addiction

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Food Addiction


  • Film clip
  • Definitions
  • Causes
  • Consequences
  • Interventions
  • Conclusion

Each to be discussed from the standpoints of the user, society/culture, service providers and decision/policy makers

  • Addiction
    • A primary, chronic disease, characterized by impaired control over the use of a psychoactive substance and/or behaviour.
    • Clinically, the manifestations occur along biological, psychological, sociological and spiritual dimensions.
    • Common features are change in mood, relief from negative emotions, provision of pleasure, pre-occupation with the use of substance(s) or ritualistic behaviour(s); and continued use of the substance(s) and/or engagement in behaviour(s) despite adverse physical, psychological and/or social consequences.
    • Like other chronic diseases, it can be progressive, relapsing and fatal.

Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine, (1999, October 14). Definitions in addiction medicine. Retrieved March 2, 2006, from

definitions continued
  • Food addiction
    • Fast consumption of a large amount of food in a distinct amount of time which results in being beyond the point of uncomfortably full.
    • It is compulsive overeating which results in many episodes of uncontrolled eating, or binging and feelings of depression and guilt are often present.
    • These addicts typically eat when they are not hungry, constantly think about food, and plan or fantasize about eating alone. This almost always results in weight gain and obesity.
  • Rogers, P., & Smitr, H. (1999). Food craving and food “addiction”: a critical review of the evidence from a biopsychosocial perspective. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 66(1), pp. 3–14, 2000.
  • Daily Strength. (2007). Overview. Retrieved March 9, 2007, from,com_comnews/cid,623/
behaviours associated with food addiction that are similar to drug addictions
Behaviours associated with food addiction that are similar to drug addictions:
  • Loss of control
  • Unsuccessful efforts to cut down or stop the behaviour
  • A great deal of time spent think about food or engaging in the behaviour
  • Continuing the behaviour despite related consequences
  • Withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, headaches and restlessness
  • A need for increased amounts of the substance
  • Changes in social, occupational, or recreational activities as a result of the behaviour

Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery. (2005). Food Addiction.. Retrieved March 5, 2007 from

  • From the perspective of the USER
    • Coping
    • Psychological
    • Biological

These images show that obese subjects have fewer dopamine receptors than control subjects.

McNulty Walsh, K., & Rowe, M. (2002). Mere sight/smell of food spikes levels of brain “pleasure” chemical. Brookhaven National Laboratory. Retrieved March 7, 2007, from

causes continued
  • From the perspective of SOCIETY/CULTURE
    • Media
    • Peers
    • Unrealistic expectations
causes continued1
  • From the perspective of the service providers
    • Treatment
        • Focus on biological aspects
        • Medication
    • Healthy living facilities
        • Lack of fitness
        • Research findings
    • Fast Food Restaurants (food service industry)
        • Are they to blame?
        • Larger portions
        • Inexpensive low quality food
causes continued2
  • From the perspective of the POLICY MAKERS
    • Individual Choice
    • Causes due to revolutionization
    • Education and Dietary Guidelines
causes continued3
  • From the perspective of the decision/policy makers
  • Individual Choice
    • Causes due to revolutionization
  • Potential Causes of Food Addiction Consist of:
    • Less physically demanding work
    • More reliance on automated transportation
    • An increase in television watching and video games during spare time
  • Education and Dietary Guidelines

Health Canada. (2006). Obesity. It’s Your Health. Retrieved March 13, 2007, from

consequences for the user
Consequences for the User
  • Characteristics of Food Addiction
    • Obsession
    • Lack of self-control
    • Preoccupation
    • Compulsion
    • Craving

Higgins, D.E. (1999). Food Addiction Program. Realization Centre Inc. Retrieved March 7, 2007 from

physical medical consequences of compulsive overeating
Physical/Medical Consequences of Compulsive Overeating
  • Hypertension of fatigue
  • Stroke
  • Varicose veins
  • Psychological disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Weight gain
  • Heart ailments
  • Mobility problems
  • Arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Embolism
  • Sleep depravation
  • Toxemia during pregnancy
  • Shortness of breath
  • High Cholesterol levels
  • Cardiac arrest and death

Thompson, C. (2004). Compulsive Overeating. EDSA Canada Mirror-Mirror. Retrived March 5, 2007 from

consequences of the user
Consequences of the User
  • Impact on daily functioning
  • Withdrawal Symptoms
consequences to society culture
Consequences to Society/Culture
  • In 2004, approximately 6.8 million Canadian adults aged 20-64 were overweight, and an additional 4.5 million were obese.
  • Owen, K. (2007, November 13). Psychological Factors in Health and Illness. Lecture Notes, Carleton University.
gender characteristics
Gender Characteristics
  • Individuals can be overweight, underweight or normal weight
  • Binge eating can affect women or men, though it appears twice as often among women
  • Men are thought to suffer from compulsive eating more than any other eating disorder.
deaths by other eating disorders for females
Deaths by Other Eating Disorders for Females

Statistics Canada. (n.d). Table 105-1100 Mental Health and Well-being profile, Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), by age group and sex, Canada and provinces, occasional. Retrieved March 5, 2007 from

consequences for decision makers
Consequences for decision makers
  • Obesity has an impact on government polices and funding from different institutions in their search for the causes.

Rudd Centre for Food Policy & Obesity(2005). Causes and Consequences of Obesity. Yale University. Retrieved March 5, 2007 from

Consequences for decision makers
  • The estimated human cost of obesity is 18 million sick days a year; 30 000 deaths a year, resulting in 40 000 lost years of working life and a shortened lifespan of nine years on average
  • According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control, obesity probably kills about 112,000 Americans every year.
  • It has been estimated that the annual cost of overweight and obesity in the U.S. is $122.9 billion.
  • Obesity and obesity-related conditions or ailments result in at least $62.7 million in doctors’ visits and $39.3 million in lost workdays each year.
junk food ban in the uk
Junk Food Ban in the UK
  • Ban on junk food ads before 9pm.
  • Total ban on ads during children's programs and on children's channels, as well as adult programs watched by a large number of children.
  • It has been estimated the ban will cost broadcasters an estimated £39 million in lost advertising revenue.
  • This ban would mean that children and young people, under-16 years of age would see 41% fewer junk food ads.
timeline for junk food ban in the uk
Timeline for Junk Food Ban in the UK
  • April 1, 2007 - Ads for foods high in fat, sugar and salt will be banned during or around programs made specifically for children or those which would particularly appeal to children aged seven to nine
  • January 1, 2008 - Junk food ads will banned in and around programs aimed at, or which appeal to, children aged four to 15
  • By December 2008 - Dedicated children's channels must have phased out all junk food ads
interventions for the user
Interventions for the User
  • Can Food Addictions be Treated?
  • Yes. Treatment can work. People realize, after years of failed attempts, that masking their problems with food does not work, and that professional help is needed to deal with their feelings of anger, fear and depression.
  • Because each person is unique, an individual, comprehensive treatment plan is designed to meet his or her specific needs.
  • Research has shown that the most successful treatment is that which treats the total person. You do this by utilizing a blended model which includes cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, 12-step principles and family components.
types of treatment
Types of Treatment
  • Group Therapy
  • Individual Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Educational Programs
five point strategy for overcoming food addictions
Five-Point Strategy for Overcoming Food Addictions
  • Be microscopically honest with yourself and aware of minor or major addictions.
  • Determine what your optimum diet and eating amounts should be.
  • Follow a new eating routine.
  • Find a trusted friend, mentor or counselor to listen empathetically as you explain your emotions prior to slipping up.
  • If you are tempted to fall back into old eating patterns, seek help from your support person.
strategies for solving compulsive eating
Strategies for Solving Compulsive Eating
  • Identify and avoid trigger foods and drinks.
  • Increase nutrient density with good foods and nutrient supplements
  • Exercise and create a healthier lifestyle
  • Personal development and spiritual growth
  • Realize that you need to overcome forbidden foods
  • Variety is essential
  • Be aware of what and how much you are eating
the twelve steps of overeaters anonymous
The Twelve Steps of Overeaters Anonymous
  • We admitted we were powerless over food — that our lives had become unmanageable.
  • Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  • Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  • Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  • Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  • Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character
Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  • Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
  • Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  • Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
  • Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  • Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to compulsive overeaters and to practice these principles in all our affairs
what has the government done to address the problems associated with food addiction

What has the government done to address the problems associated with food addiction?

Interventions from service providers and policy makers

canada s food guide
Canada’s Food Guide

To define and promote healthy living

  • Wise food choices for home, work etc.
  • Helps plan meals, buy groceries, read food labels, and ration your food intake
  • Idea is you have a balanced diet that includes the four food groups
nutrition facts
Nutrition Facts
  • Nutrition Facts: easy to find, easy to read, and on most foods.
  • Use Nutrition Facts, the list of ingredients, and nutrition claims to make informed food choices.
  • Nutrition Facts are based on a specific amount of food - compare this to the amount you eat.
  • Use % Daily Value to see if a food has a lot or a
  • little of a nutrient
eliminate unhealthy choices
Eliminate Unhealthy Choices
  • In 2005 elementary schools across Canada became pop-free
    • 85% of American schoolchildren continue to consume at least one can of pop a day
    • 20% drink four cans a day
    • Similar legislation banning soft drinks in schools has yet to be introduced in the USA
children s fitness tax credit
Children’s Fitness Tax Credit
  • To qualify for the tax credit, a program must be:
  • ongoing (either a minimum of eight weeks duration with a minimum of one session per week or, in the case of children's camps, five consecutive days);
  • supervised;
  • suitable for children; and
  • substantially all of the activities must include a significant amount of physical activity that contributes to cardio-respiratory endurance plus one or more of: muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, or balance.