Of course we all need food for survival, but the question of food addiction relates more to the quantities and types of foods that we eat. To unlock the answer to this question, I recently sat in on a meeting at Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous (FA). This organization consists of an amazing group of people who commit themselves to overcoming their addictions to the harmful, high calorie foods so prevalent in our society. They run a 12 step program modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous. Participants get a sponsor, whom they talk with each day to help stay on track. There are meetings every day and locations all over Charlotte (and the world). There are no embarrassing weigh-ins, and there are no dues, fees, or any costs whatsoever. It is completely free.
As I listened, I was struck by how receptive, welcoming, and kind all of the members were. They selflessly serve each other to mutually overcome their addictions to sugar, white carbs, sodas, junk food, etc. And there efforts pay off. I saw people who had lost 60 pounds, 100 pounds, and there was even a woman who had lost 200 pounds through the group. Since that meeting, I have been recommending FA to my patients. Those who have attended have loved it, and have dropped out of those stubborn plateaus to lose weight again.
We all have something that we turn to for comfort and to relax. For some it is exercise, for others it may be smoking, work, shopping, getting on the computer, Facebook, or sex. But when that thing consumes us and we can’t stop thinking about it, or when we know it is taking us down a road we don’t want to go on, but we do it anyway, then it may very well be an addiction. For many Americans food is addictive.
There is a quick 20 question quiz you can take on the FA website to see if you are a food addict. Take the quiz and see how you do. Also, visit our calendar at Carolina Surgical for postings of all the FA meetings in and around Charlotte.
Carl Lowe, Jr., MD