“Loss of control over food, eating more than intended, eating to pain and discomfort, eating to the point of physical, psychological, and social distress characterize many food addicts. Failed diets and abortive attempts to control overeating, preoccupation with food and eating, shame, anger, and guilt look like traditional addictions. It is all-too common for people to eat more than they intend despite physician and family warnings about consequences such as high blood pressure, cancer risks, type 2 diabetes, and joint/bone pain. Shame, guilt, relapse, and denial are also common among addicts.
Overeating and obesity may be candidates for Addictive Disease and should be considered a viable and testable entity, which can produce novel approaches and treatments for a major disease of unknown cause and with no fast and effective treatment. We live in a time when food is in abundance, manufactured, and available on demand. Highly palatable and so-called “fast food” can produce similar effects as drugs of abuse…”
The OUP blog considers food addiction.