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Will Weight Loss Surgery Cure Food Addiction?

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answered 12:54 PM EST, Sun May 06, 2012
anonymous anonymous
I am pretty heavy. I try to diet a lot but I always cheat. 99% of the time when I cheat it is on pastries and cakes and things like that. I just crave them so much when I am trying to diet that I always sneak a few bites and then once I sneak a bit it seems like I almost always finish the whole thing. I have been reading about sugar addiction and now I wonder if the reason why it is so hard for me to stick to a diet is because I am actually addicted to sugary foods. How can I know if I am addicted to sugar or not?

What’s the treatment for food addiction? Is it a different treatment than what is provided to people who are very obese? I am scheduled for bariatric surgery next month and I believe that I am probably a food addict. If I am a food addict is the gastric band going to be enough to help me lose weight and maintain that weight loss?

William Anderson Says...

Many overweight Americans are food addicts. What you are describing sounds like food addiction. Read my answer to another's question about sugar addiction (http://www.choosehelp.com/experts/eating-disorders/eating-disorders-william-anderson/is-there-really-such-a-thing-as-food-addiction), and then read all my answers to questions about food addiction, eating disorders and obesity in the sections on this website listed on the "Expert Q&A" menu.

Surgery will not change addictive behavior. My book, The Anderson Method, describes my program of behavioral therapy that has been very successful in helping overweight people lose weight permanently and helping food addicts to beat their food addiction.

I have had a number of patients who have had bariatric surgery, both by-pass and lap band, before coming to me. The weight loss from the surgery was temporary, did not solve the problem they had, and in some cases, made things worse.

My advice is to learn about the behavioral therapy that I provide and perhaps work with one of my therapists. My website, www.TheAndersonMethod.com,  tells about the therapy and the book. Even if you had the surgery, you will still need to develop the skills we teach anyway. Why not learn the behavioral therapy now, and perhaps you will solve the problem before needing to further think about surgery.

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