POSTED: Monday, October 29, 2012 - 5:51pm
UPDATED: Monday, October 29, 2012 - 5:57pm
Tyler, TX — For some, diet and moderation don't seem to work anymore. A new study suggests doctors should treat obesity as an addiction, after their patient is already tipping the scale too much. When most people hear the word addiction,they think drugs and alcohol, but one specialist from the ETMC Olympic Center says for some, sweets and carbs can be just as bad.
According to their website, The National Institute on Drug Abuse funded nearly six-million dollars for obesity research in 2011. Newer studies suggests that calorie dense foods might be more than just appealing, but in fact, addictive.
Tyler psychologist, Dr. Steven Westmoreland, says, "People use food like they do alcohol, whatever ails you, if you're lonely, if you're sad, if you're hurt." Studies say "highly palatable" foods such as, soda, ice-cream, and french fries are most likely the culprit.
Exercise specialist from ETMC Olympic Center, Cassie Ebert, says, "Foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar even a combination of the three can be highly addictive." She says these ingredients trigger the brain the same way as a drug or alcohol addiction. But, while some doctors are choosing to treat obesity as a road to recovery, rather than trying to prevent it, others disagree.
Dr. Christie Osuagwu from People's Health & Wellness Clinic in Tyler says, "I think prevention is better. She thinks the fundamental issues of weight gain are more complex than just an addiction. "It's not just about what people are eating its about the genetic make up its about some hormonal problems that people may have," said Osuagwu. She says although some foods can become habitual, balance is key. Other specialists suggest its often addiction recovery that leads to weight gain in the first place.