Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Addicts, addicts everywhere....

It's a staggering testament to the power of defining reality that an idea, no matter how absurd can just keep going regardless, because it is convienient to those in authority.

Because it is not accepted that calorie maniupulation is inherently defunct and that science has no answer to it's construct 'obesity', we are now to be labelled addicts.

This has of course been coming for a while, the only thing that has delayed it is not lack of 'evidence' (oh, since when has that stopped them) no it was that the idea of 'food addiction' is as ludicrous as it is reprehensible.

And guess who's well behind this swill? That's right our old friends  (whom we should be so grateful for) because they study the effects of "weight stigma" for us out of the kindness of their hearts. No one has managed to note the effects of stigma on human beings, thus far, have they?

Addiction to food is a degenerate idea, because it yet again seeks to pathologize the human condition by pathologising the thing it needs to exist, food. I doubt very much that they are observing more than the heightened function of hunger and appetite systems, which can come in the aftermath of diet rebound.

By the way, what is happening to science? This feels like some kind of counterraction to the previous more progressive ideation of the discipline, as if an anti human original sin mentality is seeking to use science to impose itself on human consciousness.

Truly unpleasant.

As someone who should be fully on board with this bilge, I know that my disordered eating was a severely heightened response of hunger and appetite, not searching for highs, not that I'm hear to criticise that, but it is a mistake to see it this way.

We are designed to use food as a support for mood, if it dips low enough to try and stop that progressing, it's supposed to be a temporary measure, if matters are not resolved it can continue, but the answer is to resolve the underlying problem not to attack the defence.

Imagine a sword fight where someone snatches the shield because they've decided that's why the swords are flying. It really is that stupid and its all because those who are observing these things, insist their boneheaded reactions and prissy responses take overwhelming precidence over accurate understandings.

There does also seem to be the possibility that when your nervous system is too tense as a matter of course, this tension spreads to hunger and appetite via the nerves controlling them-why wouldn't it? And that causes this oversensitivity.

The reason it difficult to get rid of is because it is attacked directly, rather than treated holistically, reducing the tension in the nervous system overall. That's probably why it can yield to varying degrees to psychological councelling as that can cause tension that hangs around in our bodies.

Fat people's stock has fallen so low on the back of people's rising obssessional hate has twisted minds to such an extent that they are prepared to hurt themselves to get at us, seriously, thin privilege was one of the first instances of that if I think about it.

Rebuttal of this meme is usually met with the comparison with smokers or drug addicts and alcoholics. And that is the problem for all those people who keep on with this individuality ad absurdum, whatever you choose, is ok, as long as it doesn't affect anyone else, but we know this at best comes under the term "useful fiction", because here's where it does.

Drug addicts are right to accept the term as it describes a physiological condition, however things started to slide when the arugment about psychological dependency was lost-that it too should be deemed addiction.

Then there were alcoholics, again alcoholism in the susceptible can cause a physiological dependency. The problem was with labelling it a drug when it is both a food and a drug, which helps to explain its unique place in the history of humankind, virtually every civilisation brews some kind of alcohol.

Even though I don't drink I objected to this unbalanced reading of alcohol through the lens of those who have problems with it seeking to dissuade by pathologizing.

Then smokers mainly psychologically dependent on their habit sought to use the term addict to resolve the success of anti smoking campagins on their psyche most of them say they want to give up, versus their lack of this enabling them to do so.

So many of them sought the term addict as they felt this was somewhat of a shield for the undoubted hosility shown towards them in recent years.

Now this is moving on to fat people some of whom I'm afraid are using the same defence as smokers to try and parrry the intolerable hostility of the crusade. The implications of this are worrying, one thinks especially of children, if fatness is labelled addiction-which presumably means thinness has to equal anorexia, you cannot have one without the other- then the prospect of taking children from their parents or guardians increases.

Imagine people seeing fat children in the light of being fed drugs by their parents? As stupid as that is, the meanness of the crusaders is pretty reliable.

All I can hope is that enough fat people refuse  this definition-I'm wary after the "real women" debacle that they may not-to dump it in the trash and bring some of the other crap down with it.

One thing is for sure, if it does become the law, it will be open season on the empire of rehab which thus far has not been subject to scrutiny as its victims are willing.

I really hope fat people are not suckered into this and kick the bejeezus out of it.


  1. "Food addiction" is ludicrous if your definition of "addiction" is relatively narrow. There have been a lot of studies that show that food creates the same neurological responses as drugs in the brains of obese people. It initiates a similar high and sets off similar compulsive desires to eat again and more. I'm not sure why the idea that some people could be addicted to food, particularly when we tend to accept that people can be addicted to sex, is so outrageous.

    That is not to say that everyone who is fat is addicted to food. However, addiction psychologically tends to mean something which you cannot stop doing even though you wish to do so. You are not food addicted if you are actually hungry and eat. You are possibly food addicted if you eat when you are not hungry and can't stop yourself from doing so.

    For me, I am perfectly comfortable saying that I was addicted to food both biologically and psychologically and probably always will be to some extent. I'm not talking about stress-eating, which I have written about before as a natural biological response that all animals have, but compulsive, habitual and comfort eating. My relationship with food was one in which food controlled me rather than my controlling it. I was powerless over food, as many people with issues with weight are.If you have to eat something because it is there, can't stop eating until uncomfortably full, or can't turn down a particular food when you are not particularly hungry, then something else is in play.

    It's very important to differentiate between an approach to food which is largely biological (responses to hunger) and that which is largely psychological and reflects dependence on food. I'm not talking about never eating a piece of cake for enjoyment, but rather needing it or feeling you "deserve" it. Sensory pleasure in food is a beautiful thing. Needing it psychologically is a disaster, and often a sign of addiction. Denying food addiction is a possibility (though not a certainty) for some fat people is a way of dealing with ones relationship with food in a productive manner, not an indictment of fatness.

  2. Thank you SFG, you've written a cogent and lucid defence of "food addiction".

    As precis is not always my strong point, I'm going to go away and think about how to respond in kind.