Should Obesity be Considered a Form of Addiction?

Better Essays
Is Obesity a Form of Addiction?
Julia has just suffered a massive heart attack and her family is waiting in the hospital, grasping on to any bit of hope that she will make it out alive. The family is crushed and crying, thinking of all the laughs, cries, hopes and dreams they’ve shared with Julia. Suddenly, someone’s voice penetrates through the opposite end of the hallway—“She brought this upon herself. It’s hard for me to feel bad for Julia.” The family is stunned. The woman they love and care deeply for is dying, and all someone can say is that it’s Julia’s fault. Julia’s father thinks to himself, “What is the purpose of assigning blame? I just wish that this person would understand that Julia may not have had as much control
…show more content…
Essentially, overeating diminishes the dopamine reward response, which ultimately encourages more overeating (Dr.
Fuhrman, 2008).
Drug addictions also exhibit a blunted dopamine reward response. In fact, craving oreos, for instance, has been proven to be neurologically similar to craving drugs. In a recent study, mice were made to navigate a maze in which on one side, Oreos were placed and on the other, rice cakes were provided. Mice spent much more time on the Oreo side of the maze. Next, cocaine was offered instead of the Oreos, and the study found that the rats spent about the same time on the “drug” side of the maze (Walton, 2013). Whether the severity of the neurological responses was different is not under question. Addiction is addiction is addiction, regardless of the intensity of response.
Another argument made by those who believe that obesity is not a form of addiction is that labeling obesity as such is providing the obese with an excuse and enabling them to not care about their weight or food intake (Macrae, 2014). Although it 's understandable that letting anybody think of their problem as something outside of their control is a bit enabling, it is still essential to not assign blame. Julia 's father does not need hear that Julia is to blame for her obesity. Rather, Julia 's father needs to find out to how to be a supportive parent who can help his daughter make a change. What matters in
Get Access