Compulsive Overeating Psychology Compulsive Overeating Or Excessive Essay

Length: 3 pages Sources: 5 Subject: Not Specified Type: Essay Paper: #90166903 Related Topics: Eating Habits, Abnormal Psychology, Eating Disorders, Internet Addiction
Excerpt from Essay :

¶ … Compulsive Overeating


Compulsive overeating or excessive eating is one of several known eating disorders. Eating disorders are rampant diseases in western cultures. Eating disorders are expressions of abnormal and nearly always harmful behaviors, attitudes, and perceptions of food and eating. They usually center around a great lack or great abundance of food entering a person's body. Eating disorders also involved distorted perceptions of oneself and the development of compulsive thoughts and behaviors. Eating disorders show up in male and female populations, when for most of the disorders' history, they were thought to only show up in women. Current psychological research shows that the degree of westernization in a culture is directly proportional to the likelihood and prevalence of eating disorders, particularly in women. Compulsive overeating is a form of binge eating disorder when people eat compulsively as a response to stress. Compulsive overeaters eat too much when they are hungry, and eat in instances when they are not physically hungry. This paper will provide a brief examination and analysis of compulsive overeating.

By the nature of the compulsive behaviors involved in eating disorders such as excessive eating, numerous professionals consider excessive eating a form of sex, and eating. In the case of compulsive eaters, food is their addiction as well as the feelings they associate with withholding food from themselves and subsequently binge eating to dangerous levels.

In recent years, there has been an interesting clinical and scientific shift in perspective

with many believing that addiction should encompass the compulsive engagement in activities such as gaming, Internet use, and shopping, in addition to its conventional relation with pharmacologic rewards…just as different drugs promote different degrees of dependence, foods also differ in their capacity to promote abuse (Volkow & Wise, 2005). Experts are now confident in claiming that the nutrients comprising fast foods are inherently addictive because of their concentration and high volume of fats and sugars. And, like drugs of abuse, they have the ability to alter brain mechanisms in ways that contribute to their increasingly compulsive use (see Grigson, 2002; Del Parigi, Chen, Salbe, Reimna, & Tataranni, 2003; Spring et al., 2008). (Davis & Carter, Compulsive eating, 2009)

With this kind of disorder, the food serves as drugs, as in a substitute for drugs in a normative substance abuse disorder as well as the drugs or chemical released in the bloodstream from the brain during bouts of binge eating. Furthermore, the reverse is true; with compulsive eating, the drugs are the foods. Again, a comparison to narcotic addiction and a reference to the abundance of artificial ingredients and drugs found in the many of the most popular foods upon which people binge.

Compulsive eating relieves stress for excessive eaters. It makes them feel calmer and better about stressful situations or people. Compulsive eaters may hide food in their environments. They may also eat secretly and privately. They also, obviously eat to the point of excess, to the point where it hurts, or to the point of…

Sources Used in Documents:


Davis, C., Carter, J.C. (2009) Compulsive overeating as an addiction disorder. A review of theory and evidence. Appetite, 53, 1 -- 8.

Lightstone, J. (2004) Dissociation and Compulsive Eating. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 5(4), 17 -- 32.

Morgan, C.M., Yanovski, S.Z., Nguyen, T.T., McDuffie, J., Sebring, N.G., Jorge, M.R., Keil, M., & Yankoski, J.A. (2002) Loss of Control Over Eating, Adiposity, and Psychopathology in Overweight Children. Eat Discord, 31, 430 -- 441.

Overeaters Anonymous. (1993) Compulsive Overeating -- An Inside View. Overeaters Anonymous, Rio Rancho: NM.

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