If you’re taking this quiz, chances are you have some issues with food. Maybe you’ve tried dieting, but could never lose weight — or keep it off for good. Maybe some of the ways that you try to control your food seem irrational to you, but somehow you can’t stop. Maybe you just have a niggling feeling that something isn’t quite “normal” when it comes to you and food.
You may be wondering, “What’s the difference between an eating disorder and food addiction?” This is a great question. Many food addicts also have eating disorders. But food addiction, like any addiction, is a dependency on a particular substance or behavior, and the inability to stop using that substance or behavior despite negative consequences.
To take a closer look, let’s dive into some basic questions that apply to all addictions. Try to answer “yes” or “no” as honestly as you can.
- Do you frequently eat more than you intended to?
- Have you tried countless diets or ways to moderate your eating?
- Have you been unable to stop overeating despite the desire to do so?
- Do you have strong urges to eat certain foods?
- Do you spend a lot of time eating, planning binges, thinking about food or weight loss, recovering from overeating, or purging (vomiting, exercise, laxatives, fasting)?
- Has your eating compromised your health? your family? your relationships? your work? your values? your goals?
- Have you continued to overeat, or eat problem foods, despite serious health issues (like obesity, diabetes, cancer, dental problems, mental illness)?
- Have you ever put yourself or others in danger because of your eating (for example, driving distractedly because you’re eating)?
- Does your eating cause you to withdraw socially?
- Have you continued overeating even though you knew it was harming your physical or mental health?
- Have you ever quit addictive foods (like sugar) altogether, even for a short period of time, and experienced withdrawal-like symptoms (headaches, fatigue, irritability, insomnia, tremors, mood problems)?
- Do you have to eat certain foods in order to alleviate these symptoms, or to feel “normal”?
- Has your eating gotten worse over time?
- Do you suspect that you may be addicted to certain foods?
If you answered “yes” to five or more of these questions, then there is a good chance that you are addicted to food — or certain foods and food behaviors.
This quiz is intended for self-assessment only. For an in-depth evaluation, please contact one of our counselors at SHiFT – Recovery by ACORN.
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