Yes indeed, we can become addicted to it. Food is like information for our body that many processes in the body rely on. What determines addiction is mainly why and what we eat but also how our body reacts to it. Why do we eat food?The most obvious is to survive, but in our Western world this is not an issue for most people. There is in plenty of choice in food, so the next question is what do we base our food choices on?
- Emotional provision or comfort food
- Social opportunity and/or prestige
- Health, etc.
What does it give us? Obviously, energy, protection and building blocks, but there is something even more important and that is "reward"! Sugar is a well-known addiction because it directly affects our reward and anti-reward system. It is now scientifically compared to the same reward as some addiction drugs.
This PET scan shows the activation and reward system. Source Article from https://www.davidwolfe.com/study-sugar-more-addictive-cocaine
How does our body respond to choices?Your body reacts to the food and then takes control. "Food is communication" and your body acts after that. This happens through hormones:
Ghrelin stimulates appetite
Leptin signals saturation
Cholecystokinin stimulates satiety and inhibits hunger pangs
PYY inhibits appetite
Insulin often too high insulin creates insulin resistance thus increased sugar intake
Incretin inhibits gastric emptying
Neuropeptide (Neurotransmitter) A high neuropeptide Y level causes feelings of hunger and reduced physical activity.
So the feeling of helplessness of not being able to control your "cravings/desire," for example for sugar or fats, is biochemical and hormone-driven. The remarkable thing about our body is that it can "quickly communicate better" when food choices are adjusted. This is not a solution to figure out on your own because it often takes energy, which you then don't have. Fortunately, we have spent a lot of time and attention on this in recent years. And from experience we can make a positive contribution here. Are you unable to master the sugar or food addiction? Come Thursday, November 30 at 19:00 to our lecture on addiction, where we will tell you about the most effective solutions. If you want immediate help, feel free to contact us.
- Avena, Nicole M., Pedro Rada, and Bartley G. Hoebel. "Evidence for Sugar Addiction: Behavioral and Neurochemical Effects of Intermittent, Excessive Sugar Intake." Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews1(2008): 20-39. PMC. Web. Nov. 20, 2017.
- Davis C, Curtis C, Levitan RD, et al. Evidence that 'food addiction' is a valid phenotype of obesity. Appetite 2011; 57:711-717.
- Sugar addiction, Ahmed S Guillem K Vandaele Y, Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, 2013 vol: 16 (4) pp: 434-439
- infonu.co.uk : https://wetenschap.infonu.nl/anatomie/125279-leptine-cck-pyy-incretine-en-ghreline-hongerhormonen.html