• Categories

  • Syndicate

  • Archives

Turns Out “Junk Food Junkies” Actually Are

Posted by wmagnus On December - 28 - 2009

While the rest of the West has been actively engaged in holiday festivities, the march of science continues. Researchers in both Europe and North America published studies last week relating to obesity and provide food for thought for those contemplating their New Year’s Resolutions.

Celebrity Food Rehab with Dr. Drew

While not a VH1 program yet, it might be soon. Psychology researchers in Canada noticed that bariatric (weight loss) surgery patients often demonstrated compulsive and addictive behaviors regarding food even after surgery. In their commentary in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, Valerie Taylor, MD, and her associates review the concept of food addiction. It’s not an idea that’s fully accepted but there are strong similarities to drug and other compulsive and self destructive addictions, so much so that some over-eaters develop new compulsive behaviors such as shopping or gambling after gastric bypass surgery. Dr. Taylor makes it clear that this is a subset of over-eaters and not every obese person is a compulsive eater. Identifying the compulsive eaters can make weight loss and healthier behaviors a real possibility for those food addicts, though. This phenomenon is of course the entire basis for Overeaters Anonymous. It is a complicated problem, because unlike alcoholics who can avoid drinking, all of us including “food addicts” must eat to live.

It’s worse than before and louder too

Across the pond,  researchers published in the British Medical Journal some unsettling findings. Obesity is a much greater health risk than previously thought, according to George Davey Smith and his colleagues at the University of Bristol. Working with researchers in Sweden, the group found through statistical analysis that the risks of being underweight such as lung disease and cancers was actually what’s called reverse causality. That means that people who are underweight in BMI studies are often underweight because of life threatening illness rather than developing the illness because of their weight. Adjusting for reverse causality reveals that the health of obesity may have been understated by BMI studies in the past.

One Response to “Turns Out “Junk Food Junkies” Actually Are”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Bridget Magnus, Warren Magnus. Warren Magnus said: New Post at Age Against the Machine: Junk Food Addicts Actually Are http://bit.ly/7vy2wd […]