Ending Addiction for Good

Does Food Addiction Really Exist?

Researchers: "Overweight or obese individuals probably do meet the clinical criterion for food addiction, [for example] persistent desire or repeated unsuccessful attempts to quit; important social, occupational, or recreational activities given up or reduced; continued use despite knowledge of adverse consequences.” Read More

Food addiction is real.

It's all too easy for some people to dismiss food addiction as inauthentic. But I know from experience how real food addiction is.

I've seen teenage girls sell their bodies to get a nickle bag of Doritos. I've seen boys become hustlers, just to get a fix at Krispy Kreme. I myself lived in a cardboard box on the street for weeks, where I spent all my time and money mainlining Cheez Whiz into my veins.

Learn more by reading my autobiography, "The Man With the Golden Arches."

Treatment by addicts

Should a person with an active addiction have any part in the treatment of addicts? In the food realm, that would mean that an overweight addiction specialist should not participate in the treatment of any kind of addicts. How do you determine who is a food addict and who is just fat?

Recovery from Food Addiction

Thank you for this timely article. There are likely to be debates as to whether or not an individual can be addicted to food. Instead of joining the debate, I prefer to share a solution I have found which works. I am a member of Overeaters Anonymous, a 12 Step program of recovery for people who self-identify as having a problem with food. Here is our website: www.oa.org.

I entered OA weighing 240 lbs, which did not reflect my history with bulimia and anorexia. I have now been in OA for 7 and a half years, and have maintained a healthy body weight for over 5 years (I am even part of the National Weight Loss Registry). I encourage you to go to the website, and explore for yourself. Regardless of what you call yourself, if you have a problem with food (physical or simply mental) you are welcome in OA. We're happy to have you join us.

Developing Field

Somewhere in the mix of addiction, compulsion and choice are many behaviors. Thirty years ago, we might have been having this same conversation about gambling. Now there are few people in the field who would discount gambling addiction. Like any new field, our understanding of food addiction is still evolving. But I don't think it's fair to discount it until we know more.

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Richard Taite is CEO and founder of the Cliffside Malibu Treatment Center in Malibu, California and co-author of the book Ending Addiction for Good.

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