Until recently, it was uncertain whether food addiction really existed. However, in the past few years, more and more studies have shown that food addiction is real. Research presented at a recent meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behaviour (July, 2011), has shown that people can become dependent on highly palatable foods and can engage in compulsive eating patterns much like the behaviour seen in drug addicts and alcoholics. In this study, people identified as being food addicts also showed a number of other traits. They were also more likely to suffer from depression and show symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. They had more impulsive personality traits and were more likely to ‘self-soothe’ with food.
This study reinforces the view that food addiction is an identifiable condition that can also be recognised by certain psychological and behavioural profiles. This information may also be valuable for individuals who are concerned that they may have a food addiction and that they can compare themselves against some of these traits listed here.