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Food Addiction? Nah!

Some beat themselves up: “I just can’t stop eating. I am a food addict.” Nah! Andrew Weil and Winifred Rosen, in their 1983 book Chocolate to Morphine: Understanding Mind-Active Drugs place (as evidenced from the title) chocolate and morphine into one and the same broad category of drugs, explaining that humans have a seemingly innate interest in altering their consciousness.

Naturally, chocolate and morphine are in different leagues.  But the principle nevertheless holds: everything you eat is chemistry, i.e. drugs.  Anything you eat for pleasure alters your consciousness (from its baseline of boredom to a more pleasurable, i.e. more stimulated state).

So, ditch the word “addiction” from your vocabulary.  It means nothing.  Whether you are “addicted” to morphine or tiramisu, motivationally, you are a pleasure-seeker.  And fundamentally there is nothing wrong with seeking pleasure.  The path we take on this road of pleasure can be certainly more or less precarious, legal and illegal, socially sanctioned or socially stigmatizing, but the destination is always the same: wellbeing.

So, if you have labeled yourself as a food-addict, then I suggest you retire this psychologically toxic concept from your mind.  You are a seeker of wellbeing who is still mastering the learning curve of moderation.

resources: Mindful Eating Tracker

Food Addiction? Nah!

Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D.

Pavel Somov, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice and the author of 7 mindfulness-based self-help books. Several of his books have been translated into Chinese, Dutch & Portuguese. Somov is on the Advisory Board for the Mindfulness Project (London, UK). Somov has conducted numerous workshops on mindfulness-related topics and appeared on a number of radio programs. Somov's book website is and his practice website is

Marla Somova, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice and an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Counseling at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, PA. She is the co-author of "Smoke Free Smoke Break" (2011).

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APA Reference
Somov, P. (2011). Food Addiction? Nah!. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 22, 2018, from


Last updated: 9 Jul 2011
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 9 Jul 2011
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