Experts demand that the WHO recognize the consumption of unhealthy food as a real addiction, like alcoholism or drug addiction.
An international expert group has equated the risks of addiction to junk food with the risks of addiction to alcohol, tobacco, and even drugs like cocaine. Scientists demand that WHO recognize fast food addiction as an eating disorder, writes DailyMail .
A diet high in sugar, as well as full of ultra-processed foods, leads to obesity, which in turn can lead to deadly complications.
The British organization Public Health Collaboration (PHC) has asked WHO to recognize addiction to unhealthy food as a real disease associated with the use of psychoactive substances. In the international list of such diseases are addictions to alcohol, cigarettes and drugs. In 2018, it also included “Gaming Disorder”, a decision based on decades of research into the effects of video games on people.
According to scientists, cravings for unhealthy foods fall under the WHO definition of addictive behavior – the repeated and uncontrolled use of something, in large doses that it can be harmful.
“We are campaigning for this food addiction to be finally recognized as a real addiction, so that people can get expert help and stop cravings for ultra-processed food. We believe that this addiction is partly to blame for the current epidemic of obesity, diabetes and mental diseases,” says Jen Urwin, a certified clinical and clinical psychologist and PHC member.
According to her, there is growing evidence that foods high in sugar and fat are addictive.
As you know, the term “food addiction” was first introduced in 1956. A recent University of Michigan study found that foods like donuts and pizza fit all the criteria that made cigarettes a drug in the 1990s.
These criteria include compulsive use, mood-altering effects on the brain, and the presence of ingredients in the product that increase cravings.
In general, scientists agree that “obesity is moving in the wrong direction.” Obese people are often presented as “healthy people who have made their choice” when in fact addiction may have made that choice for them.