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Saturday, 10 May 2008

FOOD ADDICTS


An interesting paper by Dale M. Atrens Nicotine as an Addictive Substance: A Critical Examination of the Basic Concepts and Empirical Evidence , analyses the many definitions of addiction and how defining addiction has become more politically than scientifically based.

Stretching the definition of addiction to its maximum, everything can be considered addictive. When the public is influenced and brainwashed by incessant propaganda from interested politically and financially motivated lobbies, it becomes an excellent opportunity for business oriented individuals to jump on the gravy train. In the process, targeted groups of citizens live under fearful emotions, de-normalization, social stigma and many will spend their money thoughtlessly in an effort to rid themselves of their ''newly discovered addiction’’.

Could you have a hidden addiction?

by ANDREA PERRY, femail.co.uk –

We all joke about being addicted to chocolate.

But how many of us crave certain every day foods without realising we have developed a dependency?

An increasing number of health professionals claim that many of us are unwittingly addicted to some of the apparently harmless products we eat - from curry to sugar, potatoes and bread.
Scientists at Nottingham Trent University recently discovered that spicy foods arouse and stimulate the senses - causing people to become curry addicts.

PROMIS, a company which specialises in rehabilitating people with addictions, deals with a whole range of obsessive behaviour. Alongside patients addicted to drugs and alcohol they are now treating people dependent on certain foods.

Founder of the group, Dr Robert Lefever says food addiction is caused by chemicals in food, which create a mood-altering effect.

'Some foods, such as sugar and refined, white flour, have a mood-altering effect which act as a drug in some people,' he said.

'Food addiction is no different from any other addiction, such as to alcohol or gambling. People with an addictive nature commonly discover a whole range of mood-altering substances and processes and may choose several at once because they find them equally effective.'

Althea Hayton, who wrote the Food Addicts Diet and more recently Food and You, holds group-counselling sessions in Hertfordshire for men and women who are addicted to food.

'There are definite reactions the body has to certain addictive foods,' she said. 'They create cravings and gets you hooked.'

Althea has identified four ingredients in everyday foods that cause cravings. They are wheat, dairy products, potatoes, and sugar and with the exception of sugar all are nutritious and healthy.

Foods such as potatoes - and even tomatoes and peppers - contain a natural poison called solanine just underneath their skin. In some people this chemical causes a natural high - and can therefore be addictive.

Sugar can also create a natural high in the body, followed by a slump. Sugar addicts crave more sugar to repeat this lift.

Finally there are the foods that can cause intolerance in the body: wheat, sugar and dairy products.

As we ingest food to which we are intolerant, the body has an addictive stress reaction.

Endorphins are released giving a rush of adrenaline, but these short-lived highs lead to cravings for more of the same food.

If you are suffering from the symptoms of food intolerance you may be addicted to certain foods. If you think this is the case, keep a food diary listing what you eat for breakfast, lunch, snacks and evening meals.

If you find you are eating a lot of one type of food you may be able to identify your addiction, then go on to eliminate that food from your diet.

Althea has devised a three-week diet called the Four Zero Experience to help food addicts cut out these elements.

She claims it can boost your energy - and confidence.

'Anyone can benefit from this change of diet,' she says.

'It brings a few days of hardship as you begin to discover your food addictions, but within a week you will begin to feel the many benefits of eliminating these four ingredients from your diet.

'Your increased energy will get you moving, your increased willpower will amaze you and your increased confidence will see you making changes in your life as well as your diet.

'As you rediscover real food, you will probably begin to take more interest in eating fish, natural ingredients and less processed food.'

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