As a professional in the field of continuing medical education and former director of the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine’s CME Program, I strongly urge that food be added to the list of substances to which people can become physically as well as psychologically addicted.
1. Given that there is now conclusive evidence supporting the hypothesis that food is a not only a substance that can be abused but to which people can become physically as well as psychologically addicted, failure to identify food addiction and the criteria for identifying it as such in the DSM5 will interferes with the process of helping healthcare professionals learn how to be as effective as possible in their work with patients suffering from food related conditions whom they serve.
2. More specifically, failure to distinguish between a client being
b. eating disordered and
c. chemically dependent on food in some fashion
or some combination of these when working with clients suffering from food related conditions reduces the ability of the healthcare professional to properly understand, accurately diagnose and effectively treat these clients.
3. Criteria for identifying physical addiction to food should include evidence of 3 or more of the following:
a. Physical craving
b. Loss of control
c. Physical withdrawal
e. Addictive denial
Denial as Distortion of the Hunger Instinct
Denial as Distortion of Conscious Thoughts about Food
Denial as Distortion of the Will
f. Food dependency
[In eating disorders added: I would also like to express my explicit support for the addition of Binge Eating Disorder as a category.]