Have you ever felt that you couldn’t control a a strong drive to eat something? Are you one of those people that have to fight against themselves in order to avoid buying certain products on display at the supermarket? Do you often find yourself visiting your refrigerator, at late hours (while everybody is fast asleep), hoping, wishing and keeping fingers crossed that there is still, half a jar of chocolate spread left?
If you identify with these situations, you could be suffering from the effects of a behavioural addiction called food addiction. This addiction is characterised by a compulsive consumption of high fat and sugary foods that activates the reward system in humans, making them want more and more of the same thing. This doesn’t happen to be a coincidence as the food industry is well aware of this, and consequently, creates food that will be highly palatable for the great majority, despite the adverse consequences that this has on people’s health.
Here you have a listening activity from The National CBC News programme.
Crunchy and savoury accompanied with a delicious cheesy flavour, your mouth is watering while your fumbling fingers attempt to separate the sealed plastic sheets that delay moments of utter and sheer delight!
And while you promise yourself that you will only eat a few, you know that putting a full stop to the flow of crunchiness in your mouth followed by a perfect and harmonious melting of substance; before sending it to be processed by your stomach, will be an ordeal almost impossible to fulfil.
Maybe the next time you visit your local supermarket, you’ll manage to ignore the display shelves, stacked with feasts suitable for almost every taste bud. Maybe you won’t even go anywhere near the forbidden area of aisles after aisles of colourful items that seem to capture your attention making themselves visible, even out of the corner of your eye!. But not now! This time you couldn’t resist hurling a bag or two in your shopping trolley (quickly before being spotted by anyone you knew), knowing that your diet will have to be delayed for a day or two and that some information will probably be omitted during your next nutritionist’s appointment. What can you do about it? You neither know nor care because all you feel like right now is to start chomping away on that worm-like, amber-coloured, salty-flavoured delicatessen.