Former food addicts open up in BBC review of topic

Recovering food addicts have opened up about their habits to bbc.co.uk as part of a study into whether the condition really exists.

A number of Brits that claim to have what scientists call a 'binge eating disorder' have pledged their support to a new BBC Radio 4 programme called 'Constant Cravings: Does Food Addiction Exist?'.

In response to this exact question, talking to addiction researcher Sally Marlow, a number of addicts came forward to confirm this was very much the case.

One of the people talking to Ms Marlow was a man named Michael, an educated professional and former overeater. He said it's often difficult for people to understand how people can develop an addiction to food in the same way that a smoker develops an addiction to cigarettes.

He said people just tend to believe that everyone overeats on occasion and the disorder is just a slightly bigger version than that.

In words likely to resonate with those studying the topic as part of their hypnotherapy training, Michael said: "It's a completely different experience - a constant, daily minute-to-minute obsession about getting the substance, food."

Michael described food addiction as a living "hell", while Louise, another recovering addict, said she understood the problem more because of her previous reliance on alcohol.

She says both addicts share many similarities in their behaviour, hinting that neither condition is worse than the other. Louise used the example of sneaking food into the house, which was compared to an alcoholic hiding bottles and their empties.

'Constant Cravings: Does Food Addiction Exist' starts Sunday 5 May at 5pm, according to radiotimes.com.