Am I addicted to one or more foods, or to volume eating?

Are you wondering if you are struggling with food addiction? (aka food dependency, food use disorder, food abuse disorder, sugar addiction) A common question is, “How do I know if I have an addiction to one or more foods?” This is an important question. Unfortunately, there is no simple laboratory test that you can have done to determine if you have a food addiction or any other type of addiction. But you can ask yourself some questions. If some of the answers to these questions are yes, it can indicate that the condition of food addiction is a possibility. If the answers to several of these questions are yes, it may be a strong possibility. But you will still need to pursue the question “Am I addicted to one or more foods?” further to be able to determine the answer with any certainty.

Most healthcare providers who have been successfully treating people with food addiction recommend taking a trial and error approach. This means, if food addiction seems to be a possibility, acting as if you know you have an addiction and seeing if doing the things recommended as appropriate treatment for those with food addiction bring about beneficial results. Most especially, this involves doing your best to identify the foods you find it difficult to stop eating to excess, what we call “trigger foods,” and eliminating such foods from your diet. They encourage you to “see what happens.” If things improve, further, in depth assessment and help devising a food plan tailored to meet your particular needs are two things you may want to seriously consider.

Here are some questions that are commonly asked. Most of these questions are asking about the kinds of things that healthcare professionals have come to agree on as defining addiction (whether food addiction or any other substance use disorder). This set of questions is based on a preliminary screen developed by Bitten Jonsson, Reg. Nurse, LegSSK, a Swedish food addiction professional. (S-UNCOPE Screening for Food/Sugar Addiction.)