Combating food addiction to break the habit

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ST. LOUIS, MO. (KPLR)- Food addiction is an eating disorder that differs greatly from eating disorders, but it is affecting the health of Americans across the country.

Ned Presnell from Clayton Behavioral has a new program aimed specifically at people with these food addictions. He joined us at KPLR 11 to outline what constitutes food addiction and how to fight back.

Unlike people with binge-eating disorder, bulimia, or anorexia, people with food addiction are not typically obsessed with body image, calorie counting or restricting. Instead, they are obsessed with the pleasure or relief associated with certain sugary, salty and fatty foods.

Not all people with food addiction binge on food. The person who drinks soda throughout the day or eats fast food multiple times per week may never technically binge, but when they try to break their attachment to unhealthy eating, they find they are unable to do so.

Food addiction is not a medical diagnosis, so there is controversy associated with the program.

Food addiction is not the same as an eating disorder. An eating disorder actually has more to do with body dysmorphia and managing control of that food.

Food addiction is more similar to drug or alcohol addiction: the addict feels like they cannot live without the particular for they are addicted to. The person may be able to break the addiction temporarily but will repeatedly relapse.

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