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Signs of Addiction to Food (Compulsive Eating)

The more you regularly rely on something external to lift you up, relax you, or help you feel better, the closer you move toward addiction. If you decide you are on the path to addiction, you can take action to change your behavior. And you can find caring people to help you.

Check your addiction level

Eating is pleasant and relaxing. It satisfies hunger and is needed to keep you alive. But compulsive overeaters eat even when they are not hungry. And as eating increases, so does the risk for obesity, heart disease, and other health problems. Read the following statements and check yes or no. Answering yes to 3 or more questions may be a signal that food is taking over your life.

If you are concerned about your eating habits, contact the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) Helpline at or call 800-931-2237. NEDA also provides online chat and text message support at 800-931-2237.





Do you turn to food when you’re depressed or as a reward?

Do you have a history of failed attempts at dieting?

Do you think a party or social gathering isn’t fun unless there’s lots of food around?

Do you think about food throughout the day?

Do you ever eat out of control, quickly and without pleasure?

Do you often talk or think about food (or refuse to discuss it)?

Do you eat when you’re feeling rejected or lonely?

Do you have a fear of not being able to stop eating once you start?

Do you continue to eat even when you’re not really hungry?

Are you more than 10% over your ideal weight?

Do you get short of breath during minor exercise, such as walking?

Do simple movements like bending over make you feel uncomfortable?

Online Medical Reviewer: L Renee Watson MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Paul Ballas MD
Date Last Reviewed: 12/1/2022
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