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This is what people don't understand: obesity is a symptom of poverty. It's not a lifestyle choice where people are just eating and not exercising. It's because kids - and this is the problem with school lunch right now - are getting sugar, fat, empty calories - lots of calories - but no nutrition.
According to the latest research conducted on the subject, certain behaviors and attitudes associated with certain types of food, closely resemble addiction patterns. In the study, over five hundred participants identify the foods that contributed the most to their weight problems. Participants used the Yale Food Addiction Scale in defining their problem foods. Different food types had corresponding scores, which were then averaged for each participant before the foods were ranked from most to least problematic, relative to addiction-mimicking behaviors.
The foods that emerged as most distressing and physically uncomfortable are the highly processed, fatty and sugary types. These foods also tend to have high glycemic indices, which affect a person's blood sugar level after consuming the food. According to researchers, this is no coincidence. Several researches do provide hints that these certain food types can lead to behaviors and brain alterations which are often related to an alcohol or drug addiction diagnosis.
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Food addiction as of today has not been recognized officially. Based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, it bears the most similarities with binge eating disorder. But the study discussed earlier – the latest on the subject – is the first to look into the link between how people eat certain foods and the properties of such foods (high fat, high sugar or highly processed. Researchers are very hopeful that the finding will help obese people in their struggle to reach and maintain a healthy weight.
Nutrients are not drugs and they can't be studied as drugs. They are part of a biological system where all nutrients work as a team to support your biochemical processes. I've never followed a vegan or vegetarian diet in the past, but I think I could do it. It would not be easy. I have worked with nutritionists who have said a vegan diet is not necessarily all positive for your health, because you need nutrients you only find in meats. I believe in a balanced diet.
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The very fact that we are having a national conversation about what we should eat, that we are struggling with the question about what the best diet is, is symptomatic of how far we have strayed from the natural conditions that gave rise to our species, from the simple act of eating real, whole, fresh food.
This could help change the world's approach to obesity treatment, which may not always be about reducing food intake, but rather using methods that are known to stop drug abuse, smoking and drinking.
A person who believes he might be addicted to food may never get an official addiction diagnosis from a doctor. But researchers are keen on spreading information so that those who are exhibiting sings of an addiction-like eating disorder can be helped. If you think you might belong to this group of people, this is one progressive and promising research for you to follow. It's not good to deny a problem when it's there. Know and accept your need for help.