Paying attention to the food reward debates as well as some personal experience with addiction and over eating I’m beginning to think food addiction is everywhere! I recently went on a road trip with some friends. We had to stop every 4 hours to eat at some restaurant.. It sucked and wasted so much time. As we all know, a lot of people will go at lengths to defend their eating habits. How many SAD eaters do you think are food addicts? Or somewhere on the addiction spectrum?
Many people like to criticize SAD, but recently I was thinking about something. Here in Europe, people are on something similar to SAD - with the exception that maybe instead of cornflakes, we like to eat bread with butter for breakfast. Plus, most parents doesn't allow their kids to drink soft-drinks. But still, not that many people are obese or addicted to food.
My theory is, that although SAD is certainly not optimal diet, it is not that bad actually. But what is terrible, is that in U.S., people like to over-sweeten everything. I was in N.Y.C. for 10 days, and it was quite apparent - coke was sweeter than in Slovakia, normal bread was sweet (instead of salty), cakes were so sweet that I barely could eat it...(and I liked cakes a lot back then). What got me puzzled most was that in the morning, we ate rich breakfast consisting of scrambled eggs, bacon and potatoes - nice salty food, but then I saw some people liked to pour some black sweet syrup into it... something we Europeans would not do.
So I think the main problem is not SAD, but artificial over-sweetening, and that could very well cause addiction as well.
I think that many people have issues with overeating SAD foods for potentially a number of reasons. But I suspect that the number of actual "addicts" is actually fairly small ... if you define addiction as one that involves clear lack of control in spite of the problems caused by consuming the substance (this source claims that 75% of adults drink, and 6% of those become alcoholics).
There's probably a much larger percent of people though who use food as a coping mechanism when stressed. But I wouldn't label that addiction.
Food addiction is now becoming a very common health issue. Many people are addicted to food and some of them are addicted to fast food which have fats and carbs. My friend is also addicted to food and his weight is 120 Kg. But now he started taking some medicines as per the doctors instruction to cure the food addiction.