Food addiction- an uncomfortable reality

unnamed.jpg   Blog By: Sudipta Dubey

Let me tell you about a conversation I had with a client during the ‘Maggi Ban.’ The ‘Ban’ had opened a tin of worms for many. While most clients wanted to know how to detoxify themselves of years of Maggi abuse this young girl had a different problem. She was actually grieving it. Maggi had been her faithful companion for years. Probably making her overweight in the bargain but, she was hell-bent on ignoring it all. She associated it with comfort and joy. Two extremely strong emotions that can make any lump of starch an elixir of health.The ban had altered those equations and she didn’t know how to deal with it. I remember her because she brought me face to face with a nutritionists worst nightmare, the dark-lord of our lives, food addiction. Often swept under the carpet or reprimanded with sermons, food addiction is surely an ignored aspect of most fat loss plans. However, it should be the most addressed one. So here are few things that you need to know about it. Food-addiction has very little to do will power or lack of it. It has everything to do with the faulty signalling of the brain’s ‘reward system’. Designed as a survival mechanism, the reward system secretes the ‘feel good hormones ‘ when we do something that supports life. Eating is top on the chart closely followed by physical activity, learning a new skill or nurturing a life form. It is this system that junk and many other packed food mess with. They trigger a false sense of well-being, sell the illusion of happiness without any effort on our part. It is this free lunch that is both addictive and the stepping stone in the spiral of doom. So what does this mean in the real world? A world where information is much more than words in the paper. A world where it needs to be functional to be effective. But sadly a world where there is a fast-food outlet at every corner.Where kids birthdays are incomplete without litres of aerated drinks. Where school canteens sell chips and fruit juices with abandon? Extra hours at work also means extra large pizza with cheese? Even the hospital canteens serve patties and sugar laden muffins with gusto? How do we avoid this addiction in this environment? That is the question of this hour.

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