b0cd70f492e83e16f01db146ad313bd7_addicted-to-food-how-to-break-free-580x326_featuredImageThe belief that food can become addictive has been debated for some time and continuously rejected by nutrition and addiction researchers.  Obesity is considered to be “an addiction like smoking,” according to Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health.  The case that food and drug addictions have much in common, specifically in that way that both addictions disrupt the parts of the brain that are involved in pleasure and self-control.  Weight loss camps help obese and overweight kids and young adults eat healthy choices over junk food to help maintain a healthier weight.

Studies have shown that sugar-binging rats show signs of addictive withdrawals when their sugar is taken away, such as the chattering of the teeth, tremoring forepaws, and the shakes.  Two weeks later, when the rats are allowed to eat sugar again, they had pressed the food lever so uncontrollably that they consumed 23% more than they have before.

At the Oregon Research Institute, scientists had organized brain-scan studies on children who looked at pictures of chocolate milkshakes and later those children had consumed shakes.  These results suggest that people who are addicted to something need increasingly larger doses over time.  For example, children who eat ice cream regularly may need more and more ice cream to reward the center of their brains to indicate that they are satisfied.

Dr. Pamela Peeke, assistant professor at the University of Maryland and author of “The Hunger Fix,” states that meditation and exercise can help engage the brain to overcome the addiction for food.  Food addicts should seek alternatives that can still give pleasure for example a fruit smoothie rather than ice cream.

Food addictions are linked to the types of food that we eat.  Dr.Kelly D. Brownell, director of Yale’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, states that the human body is biologically adapted to deal with foods that are found in nature, not processed foods.  “We don’t abuse lettuce, turnips, and oranges,” says Dr. Brownell, co-editor of the book “Food and Addiction.”  But when a highly processed food is eaten, the body may go haywire.  Nobody abuses corn as far as I know, but when you process it into Cheetos, what happens?”

Dr. David A. Keesler, the former F.D.A. commissioner, described these products as “hyperpalatable” foods created to provoke our taste buds by focusing on the right combination of salty, sweet, and fatty ingredients along with “mouth-feel.”

Dr. Brownell says that the brain sciences had lead us to question how food companies are manipulating their products to get us addicted to them.  “With these foods, personal will and good judgment get overridden.  People want these foods, dream about these foods, crave them.”

To avoid food addiction at a young age, Camp Shane is a good solution.  We are a weight loss camp who encourages our campers to stay active and eat healthy.  When you’re active and always moving around, you’re thinking less about food.  We have four campuses in the United States, New York, Georgia, Arizona, and California.