What is different about Food Addiction?

What is misunderstood about different types of issues with food and weight?

Obesity, eating disorders and food addiction are three different diseases, and each demands a different treatment.


If a person is just overweight or obese (with no eating disorder or addiction), the traditional prescription of diet, exercise and life style change will work. What works, essentially, is will power and motivation.

Eating disorders

If a person is an emotional eater with an eating disorder (whether overweight or underweight but not addicted), then there are a number of good ways to help the person develop effective skills for dealing with feelings without food or food behaviors and to work on resolving underlying psychological issues. The goal is to learn to eat all foods in moderation.

Food addiction

Food addiction is a chemical dependency on food. If a person is food addicted (has a substance use disorder and a problem with specific foods) but does not also have an eating disorder, then the established principles of addiction recovery will work:

        • completely eliminating the addictive food substance
        • education about developing extraordinary support
        • emotional and spiritual work to recover from deeper problems caused by the addiction
What is different about Food Addiction?