Not everyone agrees, but according to the experts at Yale’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, food addiction is real - and it’s dangerous.
Wondering if your relationship with eating is compulsive or addictive in nature?
Well, answer the following questions honestly and find out more about why you eat and maybe learn more about what you’ll need to do to overcome unhealthy patterns of eating.
Food Addiction Self Test
The following questions are based on questions used in The Yale Food Addiction Scale. The Yale Food Addiction scale is a clinically tested reliable and valid scale used to identify people who demonstrate addiction-like behaviors towards high fat or high sugar foods.1
This informal self test is not a clinically validated diagnostic tool but it is based on a validated and reliable diagnostic test.
If you find yourself answering yes to one or more of the following questions you may want to consult an expert to more formally investigate your emotional and psychological relationship with food.
- Do you often lose control of your eating – eating much more of certain types of food than you had intended on (meaning to have a bowl of chips but ending up emptying that whole jumbo sized bag, for example)?
- Do you often keep eating certain types of food even after you are no longer hungry?
- Do you sometimes eat to a point where you feel physically sick?
- Do you often feel tired or sluggish because of your overeating?
- Do you often find yourself making special trips to the store to buy fatty or sugary foods, even when there are other foods in the house that would sate your hunger?
- Do you ever find that you spend so much time eating or eat in such significant quantities that your eating interferes with ability to keep up with work responsibilities, spend time with family or friends or participate in leisure activities that you enjoy?
- Do you ever find that after overeating you need to avoid work responsibilities, spending time with friends or family or participating in leisure activities that you enjoy so that you can deal with the negative feelings that arise from your overeating?
- Do you ever avoid professional or social functions because you are worried that you will overeat certain foods while there?
- Do you ever avoid professional or social functions because you are worried that certain foods will not be there?
- Do you ever feel withdrawal symptoms like anxiety or agitation when you try to reduce or eliminate your consumption of certain foods (not including caffeinated beverages)?
- Do you ever eat as a way to stave off developing feelings of anxiety or agitation (not including caffeinated beverages)?
- Do you find that you crave certain types of foods (fatty or sugary foods) when you try to reduce your consumption of these foods?
- Do you feel very worried or distressed about the way you eat or about your relationship with food?
- Does the way you eat cause you problems in your ability to function effectively in your daily life (because of health problems, time required to eat, inability to meet obligations etc.)?
- Have your eating habits caused you any physical health problems, or have they worsened an existing problem?
- Do you find that you need to consume greater and greater quantities of certain foods to feel the same pleasure or satiety that you used to feel with smaller amounts of the same foods?
- Do you find that eating fatty or sugary foods provides less pleasure or release from negative emotions than it used to?2
So how’d you score?
While this test is not a clinically valid diagnostic, the more yes answers you scored the greater the likelihood you have an unhealthy relationship with food and would benefit from meeting with a professional for a valid diagnosis of the problem and to discuss options towards a healthier eating future.
Page last updated Dec 19, 2012