Eating for well-being

We hear so much about food as an addiction. But how can it be when food is necessary to support life?

Can food be addictive? In this provocative article, Jon Robison builds the case for food as...just food. While his featured photo is at least a little freaky, Jon is right about sugar. It is not an addictive substance.

Neither are pizza, potato chips, Cheezits, Egg McMuffins--or any other food that seemingly holds power over you, that you can’t stop eating until it’s gone or you’re stuffed. The power, however, doesn’t come from the food. The power comes from how we characterize it. Most people know what I mean when I refer to a food as a banned substance. If you see all foods as either good or bad, banned substances almost without exception are the ones you categorize as bad AKA junk food, empty calories, horrible food, worthless, un-clean eating, and so on.

Often, this kind of dichotomous thinking is the crux of food addiction. Not an addiction to food as a substance but to food as a behavior. Food addiction is really a process or behavior addiction. That is why the interventions to treat binge eating disorder outlined in Jon’s article are so effective. It’s not about the food. It’s about the way we think about it. And try not to think about it. And try not to eat it.

To turn the tables on a banned food, move closer to it, literally and figuratively. When you’re ready, give yourself permission to bring it into your house.

Then, when you’re ready, give yourself permission to eat it. Again, and again. Until you zap the power out of it.

If you want to talk about this or want more information, call Health4U at 517-353-2596. You can schedule an appointment with me.

Related Articles

Eating for well-being

Look North for Joy in Dietary Advice

O Canada, you're the latest to acknowledge that pleasure in eating is not only okay, but important! You have left US behind.

Eating for well-being

Clean is the New Healthy

"Eat this not that" summarizes most every diet and food rule. Turns out, that's NOT helpful in learning to eat better. Listen to this new podcast by Jennifer Harris, registered dietitian and eating disorder specialist.

Eating for well-being

Are meals worth the trouble?

“There is considerable peace and comfort in knowing you are going to be fed.”—Ellyn Satter

Eating for well-being

The Scoop on Coffee

Coffee is controversial but it needn’t be. You’ve probably heard the good, the bad, and the ugly about this popular drink. Read this to help sort out the truth about coffee!

More Food and Nutrition Articles

Find a Class

Browse all courses

Search Health4U

Coaching and Counseling Services

Coaching and Counseling Services provides you with access to accurate health and lifestyle information, helping you to explore new behaviors and skills, and identifying useful campus and community resources.

MSU community members eligible for coaching and counseling services include faculty, staff, graduate assistants, and retirees

Read More

Departmental Services

The goal of department based services is to provide work units and colleagues the opportunity to learn about health and wellness as a group activity or exploration.  

Read More

Health e-Guide

Your one stop resource for reliable medical information. Explore Health Topic information for specific health concerns. Interactive Tools uses your responses to questions to help with making medical decisions,  and Learning Centers can provide a more complete understanding of medical concerns.

Visit Health e-Guide