Study Says Food and Alcohol Addiction Are the Same

July 29, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. addiction (n.) [uh-dik-shuhn]  –the condition of being abnormally (usually compulsively) dependent on something
Example: She deals with her food addiction by consulting a nutritionist.

2. obese (adj.) [oh-bees] – excessively overweight
Example: Doctors say that obese children are prone to heart disease.  
3. symptom (n.) [simp-tuhm]  – a sign or evidence that something exists
Example: Headaches in one area of the head is one symptom of migraine.

4. depression (n.) [dih-presh-uhn]  – the condition of being sad and inactive
Example: Depression makes some people want to eat a lot.

5. ferment (v.) [v. fer-ment– to produce something by using agents such as a yeast, bacteria, mold, or enzymes
Example: Fermenting grapes produces red wine.

Read the text below.

A recent study in Toronto shows that food and alcohol addiction are not much different.

Conducted by psychologist Caroline Davis of York University, the study involved 72 people aged 25 to 45who are all considered obese.

In order to find out if they are addicted to food, they were asked to answer a test that was initially used to distinguish people addicted to drugs or alcohol. . The test focuses on seven symptoms present in people with addiction. Refusing to go out with friends because of one's addiction is an example of such symptoms.

Results revealed that 18 out of the 72 participants cannot quit excessive eating. Their addiction to food, Davis observed, greatly affects their behavior. One participant refuses to invite friends over so they would not discover that her house is filled with bottles of soda and boxes of pizza. Davis added that most food addicts have psychological issues like depression. They also show symptoms of hyperactivity.

One explanation as to why some people become addicted to food comes from studies done on animals. The studies prove that foods high in sugar and fat have the same effect on the brain as alcohol made from fermented sugar.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         What do you think are the effects of food addiction to a person’s health?
·         How do you think people can avoid food addiction?

Discussion B

·         Do you know anyone who eats a lot to feel happy?
·         What do you usually do when you are sad?

July 29, 2011