Karen B.

I believe that Food Addiction should be added to the DSM-5 as a substance related disorder. As a late stage food addict I have spent my whole life (65 years) trying to control my eating. My first diet was at 7 years old and I have lost 100 pounds multiple times only to convince myself that I could have just 1 bite of my binge food and then gained all my weight back and more. I have learned that much like the drug addict or the alcoholic if I pick up my trigger foods (for me, sugar and white flour) and have one bite I will go back to uncontrollable eating. Maybe not today but a craving is set up that consumes my mind with food. When I learned about the addictive model for food my life changed drastically. It has worked for me when everything else failed. I am able to have a sane life without constant thoughts of food and I have lost over 100 pounds and have kept it off. My diabetes in under control without medication and I no longer have sleep apnea.

As an Independent Social Worker I have treated overweight clients who presented with depression but in actuality were depressed due to their weight. They had tried multiple times to control their weight but to no avail. Their weight affected their relationships and their self esteem not to mention their medical health. As a nation with millions of people with diagnoses of obesity, it is time we look at the addiction of sugar and other substances as a disorder. There is research that addresses the food addiction. A good web site with a research review is www.foodaddictioninstitute.org. There are millions of people who are searching for some treatment that works and are willing to pay good money to find it. You have the opportunity to add Food Addiction to the DSM-5 to enable these people to get treatment for their addiction.

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